Reports claim that Wolves have a distant possibility of signing Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper, Bernd Leno in the coming weeks. The German’s release clause is worth around £17.5m and plenty of European sides are prepared to offer that. It is an affordable sum for the newly promoted Premier League outfit but the question lies in whether Leno will agree to the switch.
Leno’s talents, like the other top-pedigree German goalkeepers, has been overshadowed by the brilliance of Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer. The latter has maintained his number one spot for the national team for almost 9 years now. This has left little space for players like Leno to gain international recognition.
The exact reason as to why he might cost so much lesser than Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, whose release clause alone is worth over £88m. It would be foolish to overlook the Bayer Leverkusen shot-stopper especially after the performances he has put in over the past two seasons.
Leno has appeared in between the sticks 38 times last term and has not conceded a single goal in 12 matches. He has totalled over 300 appearances for Die Werkself and has registered 100 clean sheets.
The 26-year-old has also been named in the final 23-man German squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, having already been capped 6 times. Currently, he is behind Neuer and Marc Andre Ter Stegen in the pecking order but has a slim chance of appearing in front of goal this June.
Manuel Neuer has missed almost the entire 2017/18 season with a knee injury and is yet to be ruled completely fit. This could potentially open up a rotational spot for Leno.
The Leverkusen man started his playing career with VfB Stuttgart and went on to make his Bundesliga debut against Werder Bremen while serving a loan-spell with Leverkusen.
At 19, he became the youngest goalkeeper to appear in a UEFA Champions League match. He also became the third goalkeeper in Bundesliga history to maintain three clean sheets in his first three matches.
Standing at 6 feet 3 inches, he is as athletic as any top-flight number 1 shot-stopper should be and has a remarkable ability to anticipate opposition attacks. He has developed into a quality shot-stopper who could potentially flourish within the Premier League walls.
However, gambling his way into a relegation or a mid-table fight might not be exactly in his immediate plans. While the Wolves have an ambitious approach in their return to the top-flight, they still might have to weather the storm in terms of survival.
This could potentially disrupt the transfers of attractive names such as Leno and might make the German shot-stopper sceptical about making a move to the newly promoted Premier League club.