It has been quite a busy summer for the English teams who are yet to make a big impact so far in the summer transfer window. According to reports, both Arsenal and Everton are interested in Bayer Leverkusen forward Karim Bellarabi. Due to the change of managers for Leverkusen as Heiko Herrlich took over the reigns, replacing Roger Schmidt and interim boss Tayfun Korkut, Bayer Leverkusen are in for a potential squad overhaul this summer. Die Werkself have already shipped Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Danny Da Costa and Omer Toprak to fellow Bundesliga rivals while they are looking to cash in on Kavin Kampl, Javier Hernandez and Karim Bellarabi.
Karim Bellarabi, in particular, is catching a lot of attention in the transfer market. The German International has been one of Leverkusen’s brightest attacking prospect ever since he broke through to the first team in 2014/15 season. Had it not been for regular injury layoffs, the 27-year-old could have achieved a lot more success in the Bundesliga. Bellarabi has a contract with Leverkusen until 2021 but his club should be looking to sell him and receive some good amount of cash in exchange.
A complete SWOT analysis of the player.
Bellarabi is the definition of a proper winger, who has the ability to be very productive in front of goal, coupled with trickery and pace in the final third. He can be a huge prospect for any counter attacking team, considering his pace and directness. Moreover, he is a proven top drawer player. Bellarabi’s performance in the Champions League has been quite impressive in the past few seasons and he also did very well with the National Team when Marco Reus got injured.
Bellarabi has a wide range of trickery up his sleeves and he can artfully manoeuvre past any defender. And he doesn’t stop there. His willingness to pressurise the opposition centre-backs often sparks many counter attacking opportunities for his team. He can also be versatile in attacking positions. Naturally a right winger, the former Braunschweig man plays just as good on the left flank and featured as a secondary striker for Leverkusen at times.
Bellarabi’s slipshod shooting can be a major concern. He struggles a lot with his shooting, often lacking accuracy with his shots. His finishing ability is not up there with the best either and for a winger, he also lacks the dribbles completed ratio with just over 1.5 successful take-ons per game. In addition, Bellarabi has a fairly shoddy pass completion rate at just 73%, something he really needs to improve upon if he wants to establish a regular spot in the German National team. Often criticised for his lack of temperament, Bellarabi also makes guilty and rash challenges when he gets frustrated, forcing the manager to take him off when he really doesn’t need to. [Stats taken from Squawka]
Bellarabi could be a big signing for Everton. He will be the replacement of departing Gerard Deulofeu, for whom Barcelona triggered the buyback clause just a few days ago. Whilst for Arsenal, it’s only a matter of replacing Alexis Sanchez, who is on the verge of leaving the Emirates, mostly to Premier League rivals Manchester City. He could make a strong case for a regular starter at both of the clubs, therefore making Karim Bellarabi one of the hottest prospects in the transfer market this summer.
It’s highly doubtful whether or not can Bellarabi manage to settle himself in the Premier League. For a player who has never played outside Germany, it’s easy to wonder why. Moreover, he had his fair share of injury woes in recent times, a torn muscle bundle being one of them, which kept him out of action for three months. So there is a question of him becoming injury prone as well. Considering his hefty price tag of €25-30 million, it will be no less than gamble for both the English clubs to sign the German International.