Bayer Leverkusen have announced that head coach Xabi Alonso has signed a new deal at the club until 2026.
After the Spaniard’s appointment in early October, he has been able to guide Die Werkself away from a relegation battle with a remarkable sixth-place finish. The way in which Alonso has transformed this Leverkusen side has led to some of Europe’s elite sides being linked to the young head coach.
However, it will be the Bundesliga that benefits from his decision to stay, which in turn makes Leverkusen a far more attractive prospect for incoming players. Where Alonso can take this side is unknown, but from his early work at the BayArena, the sky certainly is the limit.
Werner Wenning, chairman of the Bayer 04 shareholders committee, would comment upon the renewal that it is: “an impressive sign for our club. Xabi Alonso stabilised the team in a difficult phase and put us back on track. Now we want to take the next steps in the development of our team with confidence, in unison and with the necessary focus.”
“The meticulous, analytical and self-assured approach from Xabi is really good for us as Bayer 04. At the same time, he has an outstanding environment here with us and in the Bundesliga where he can further build his profile as a still young coach. Both sides are very ambitious. the mutual commitment to each other also contains the clear target of achieving something for this club together,” added Fernando Carro, Leverkusen CEO.
Sporting managing director Simon Rolfes remarked: “Bringing in Xabi last October did attract a lot of approval but also scepticism at the same time. We were in a difficult situation and saw in Xabi a world star but also an inexperienced coach who had not yet been in charge of a top team. Nevertheless, I was convinced of his ability from the start and Xabi was convinced of the quality of our squad. We overcame resistance together and created the best of all perspectives for Bayer 04. The current contract extension is an expression of great appreciation and mutual trust.”
Head coach Alonso concluded by saying: “I’m very grateful for the confidence Bayer 04 have shown in me. The fact we are convinced of the same ideas and direction on the pitch, creates close affinity and confidence between the club management and myself. There is also a very good and relaxed working basis day-to-day. That too makes working with my staff and all Bayer 04 employees great fun. I see last season as a positive. But I want more, exactly as the club does. We are now working on that with ambition.”
With Leverkusen set to kick off the start of their Bundesliga season at home to RB Leipzig on the 19th of August, this will certainly help in adding a feel-good factor around the club.
GGFN | Will Shopland