Julian Brandt: Bayer Leverkusen’s shining star

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The 20-year-old has caught the eye of some of the biggest teams in Europe and there is no surprise following his rise, writes Sam May.

A regular in the Leverkusen first team, Brandt has already established himself as one of the most promising wingers in European football following his four seasons in the Bundesliga.

He has scored 18 goals and made 19 assists in 108 games for Leverkusen so far, and has four senior Germany caps to his name. Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Manchester City, Juventus and Liverpool are all interested in him.

However, it’s not just his goals and assists that have got teams fighting for his signature, between March 20 to April 30 2016, he scored in six consecutive Bundesliga matches, becoming the youngest player since Gerd Müller to achieve this, by scoring 72 seconds into a 2–1 home win over Hertha BSC.

Although mainly a left winger, he is also capable of featuring on the right, due to his pace, power and his eye for goal. He was nominated for the Golden Boy Award on September 30, along with 39 other bright young under-21 talents.

A silver medal winner at the last summer’s Olympics in Rio, Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Völler wasn’t exaggerating when he previously said Brandt was “one of the most talented players in German football”.

The Bremen-born star is currently contracted to Leverkusen until 2019, with a release clause between £10.75 million and £17 million, which can be activated in 2018.

Völler is certain though that the youngster isn’t leaving the Bayer Arena anytime soon.

“I am convinced Julian will be playing for Leverkusen for many more years,” Völler said.

“I am not surprised that teams like Bayern and other big clubs from across Europe are keeping an eye on him. That’s a compliment for what we do.

“But we know what Julian’s contract looks like and we know he is feeling very well here.

“It would not be the first time a player reaches a stage where he wants to leave. I hope it will not happen with Julian, but we will just move on if it happens.”

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