Kerem Demirbay has been all smiles at Bayer Leverkusen since the day he signed for his new club. - © imago images / DeFodi
Kerem Demirbay has been all smiles at Bayer Leverkusen since the day he signed for his new club. - © imago images / DeFodi

"This is a world-class club" - Bayer Leverkusen's Kerem Demirbay


Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kerem Demirbay has said he is already feeling good about his summer move from Hoffenheim.

Leverkusen announced in May that they would make the 25-year-old their first signing ahead of the 2019/20 season, shortly before they secured a berth in the UEFA Champions League by finishing fourth in the Bundesliga.

“It could not have worked out better for me,” Demirbay told German sports magazine kicker during his first week of pre-season training in Leverkusen.

Daley Sinkgraven, Moussa Diaby and Kerem Demirbay all took part in their first training sessions at the BayArena this week to start pre-season. - imago images / DeFodi

“We’re playing in the Champions League, I get to play with top players, the philosophy of the club and the coaches are, in my opinion, world-class.

“We want to play with courage, attack from the front, and play football. That suits my style of play.”

A 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup winner with Germany, the left-footed playmaker was a vital cog in a Hoffenheim team that had back-to-back top-four finishes between 2016 and 2018.

He also played in the Champions League with the Sinsheim club in 2018/19, but – with head coach Julian Nagelsmann leaving for RB Leipzig – Demirbay felt that it was time to move on this summer.

Kerem Demirbay has previously told that Julian Nagelsmann's philosophy has "stuck with me". - imago/DeFodi

“I felt very good at Hoffenheim,” he said. “I spent three brilliant years there and was able to develop my game.

“But at some point, I had the feeling that I needed to take the next step to develop myself further. To have different players around me – a different environment.”

Demirbay explained that other reasons behind the move included the fact that his wife is from Leverkusen, and that he is now much closer to his parents in Gelsenkirchen.

But he said a deciding factor was the honest nature of the talks he had with Leverkusen, and he agreed on the move at a time when he wasn’t sure if Die Werkself would be playing in Europe next season.

Watch: Owo met Demirbay back in 2017!

“It became clear to me relatively quickly that I wanted to come here – that this was the right and important step in my career,” the former Hamburg, Kaiserslautern and Fortuna Düsseldorf player said.

“After the discussions, when I went out with my agent, I told him straightaway: ‘this is the step that I want to take.’”

Demirbay’s first chance to impress the fans at the BayArena will be on the weekend of 17 August, when Leverkusen host newly promoted Paderborn on the opening day of the new Bundesliga season.