It has been a remarkable start to the Bundesliga season for Bayer Leverkusen. Die Werkself currently claim pole position in the Bundesliga, while thanks to Victor Boniface’s goalscoring antics, Xabi Alonso’s side can also boast the joint-best attacking output in the league with eleven goals.
Nevertheless, it is not just going forward that Leverkusen have looked like a side that are ready to challenge Bayern Munich. The quality and depth that Alonso’s side possess in every position has truly made them a force to be reckoned with.
However, over the international break, the Spanish head coach has had to contend with a significant injury setback. Leverkusen have announced that Jeremie Frimpong’s understudy Arthur has suffered a muscle tendon injury in his right thigh, which could see the Brazilian miss the remainder of the Hinrunde.
After signing Arthur from América Mineiro for €7m, the 20-year-old has settled well into life at leverkusen and in the Bundesliga. Two substitute appearances so far this season has seen Arthur find his feet in Germany’s top flight, while also offering Alonso an alternative to the tireless Frimpong.
Nevertheless, this will be a huge setback for Arthur and Leverkusen, who will need every player to step up if they are to challenge Bayern for the Bundesliga title. As for Alonso, it will be an even more bitter pill to swallow as the Spaniard commented after Leverkusen’s 5-1 triumph against Darmstadt: “You can’t change the calendar. But I hope that all the players come back healthy.”
GGFN | Will Shopland