Bender twins Lars and Sven will both play in Leverkusen's colours next season. - © © imago
Bender twins Lars and Sven will both play in Leverkusen's colours next season. - © © imago

Sven Bender aiming for pitch-time at Leverkusen after leaving Dortmund to reunite with twin Lars

Sven Bender has said his move to Bayer Leverkusen from Borussia Dortmund this summer was motivated by a desire to get back to playing regularly with the chance to team up with his twin brother "a great side-effect".

The Germany international midfielder left BVB after eight years to join Lars, who moved to the BayArena when Sven made the Signal Iduna Park his home in 2009.

It had, however, become an increasingly uncomfortable place to be with Bender limited to just six Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund last season.

'A new challenge'

Injuries coupled with the assured displays of Julian Weigl consigned him to a bit-part role in Thomas Tuchel's final season in charge, and left him looking for greener pastures.

"After eight years, I can't say I was unhappy in Dortmund. I know what I had with that club, but there was one thing which I was no longer doing so often: getting out on the pitch. For me, it was purely a sporting decision. The prospects are simply better for me in Leverkusen," said Bender, who admitted new Dortmund coach Peter Bosz might have kickstarted his career.

"Some people had asked me about that. The saying goes 'New coach, new chance.' But I had already made this decision. I really wanted to try something new, a new challenge."

- © imago

'Lars had nothing to do with it'

"I focussed on Leverkusen's offer the whole time. It was the only option I took into account, and it had absolutely nothing to do with my brother. Rather, I was interested in finding a club in which I would be needed, in which I would be valued," Bender explained.

"Bayer is a club that wants a new start after a difficult season. So I thought to myself: that could suit me well. I would also like a new start, try something new. Lars had nothing to do with it. That I can play with him again is a great side-effect."

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Watch: Take a tour of Sven Bender's new home