- 25 January
- 8K+ views
Leverkusen close to tying down three major stars to new deals to warn off January suitors
The German side are currently riding high at the top of the Bundesliga, having won seven out of their opening 11 games so far. Along with Wolfsburg, they are one of only two teams who remain unbeaten in the 2020/21 top flight.
Key to their ascendancy has been the development of three of their young stars:
Diaby has been on the scene for a while now, having signed for Leverkusen in 2019 after emerging through the famed Paris Saint-Germain academy before making 21 appearances for the Parisiens.
After being deemed surplus to requirements in Paris, Diaby signed for Leverkusen for a reported £13.5m [€15m].
In the 2019/20 campaign, his first with Leverkusen, he contributed to 16 goals in 27 starts, with eight scored himself plus eight assists in all competitions.
He is on course to better that tally in 2020/21 as he has scored four and assisted five in 14 starts over the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and the Europa League.
The club most closely linked with a move for Diaby over the past few months has been Man Utd, but with Leverkusen standing firm that he is not for sale at the moment after they let Kai Havertz go to Chelsea, the Red Devils are set to be left disappointed.
Diaby is poised to sign a new, five-year deal until 2025.
One of the revelations of the Bundesliga, and indeed European football this season has been 17-year-old Wirtz breaking into the Leverkusen first team to plug the giant Havertz-shaped hole in attacking midfield.
He had previously been with Koln’s youth ranks before making the transfer in January of 2020.
Wirtz is currently contracted until 2022 but Leverkusen hope to extend that as quickly as possible, with sporting director Simon Rolfes recently saying “We’re optimistic that Florian will stay longer.”
The young German made his debut for the club in the 2019/20 campaign and scored his first professional goal against Bayern in June of 2020. With that goal, he became the youngest scorer in Bundesliga history at 17 years and 34 days old.
Although no potential suitors have emerged as of yet due to him having just signed for Leverkusen a year ago, the club are aware of his quick development and want a long contract in place as he hopefully emerges as the club’s next superstar.
Leverkusen currently have the second-best defensive record in the Bundesliga behind RB Leipzig, having conceded just 10 times in their opening 10 games.
Key to their solidity, and play from the back, as been Tapsoba, who has slotted seamlessly into the starting XI since moving from Vitoria last January for a fee of around £16m [€18m].
Calm and collected at the back, but still ferocious in the tackle, Tapsoba has formed a formidable partnership at the back with Jonathan Tah, and is quickly emerging as one of the most promising central defenders in Europe.
He has won 80% of his tackles which is the fifth-best tally in the Bundesliga for 2020/21,
The key to his game is his ability to play out from the back, though, as he averages an enormous 114.3 touches per game which is more than any other player in the Bundesliga.
He recently told the official Bundesliga site that the move to the Bundesliga was a dream come true.
“Yes, it is a dream that became reality,” he said.
“It happened so quickly. But it’s important that I keep working hard, that I keep listening. I learned that from my older brother. Always believe in myself.”
Leicester have been linked with Tapsoba in the past, but when Leverkusen insisted he was not for sale in the summer they turned their attentions to Wesley Fofana.