Cologne - With the 2015/16 Bundesliga season just around the corner, we figured it prime time to take a closer look at some of the German top flight's most talked about summer signings.
Several significant departures
Leverkusen lost three key members of their squad this summer, with Gonzalo Castro, Stefan Reinartz and Simon Rolfes all no longer on the books. The departures have hit their midfield particularly hard and to enable Leverkusen to do justice to their ambitions of fighting among the leading clubs again this season, a player of Kramer's ilk was of paramount importance.
How Kramer strengthens the Werkself
Following Rolfes' decision to retire at the end of last season, it was perfect timing for Kramer to return from a two-year loan spell with Gladbach. The 24-year-old had previously spent two years getting to learn the ropes at VfL Bochum, meaning the player who left Leverkusen as a boy returned as a man, having not only picked up his first caps for Germany but also won the FIFA World Cup. Kramer shares Rolfes' leadership qualities and has tanked up on more than just a bit of confidence from his eye-catching performances in Mönchengladbach.
If Kramer can build on his performances from last season. Leverkusen's defence is certainly going to benefit from having him sit just in front of them. With the 23-year-old on the field, Gladbach conceded just 21 goals in 30 games last term – they conceded five in their other four matches without him. Leverkusen, meanwhile, will look to their returning hero to help them improve on a record of 37 goals against last term.
Covers every blade ofgrass
Kramer's all-energy performances made sure he was one of the standout players in terms of distance covered last term. With an average of 12.7 kilometres covered per game, he eclipsed Bayer 04's outgoing captain Rolfes and was only behind Hertha Berlin's Vladimir Darida, then at SC Freiburg. Kramer also has that little bit extra about him, with only 14 percent of his passes not finding their man.
Tobias Anding, Helge Winter and Ben Gladwell