Bellarabi facing two to three weeks on the sidelines
By Siddhant Garg
Karim Bellarabi's game was cut short with injury
|Karim Bellarabi.||Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
The winger had a good start to the game versus Lokomotive Leipzig, earning die Werkself a penalty in the 5th minute and scoring himself in the 14th. A great start, considering he had been far from efficient in taking his chances in recent times.
His return to form was, however, cut short, with him having to come off in the 36th minute with a thigh injury. While further tests are awaited, it is suspected to be a strain or a muscle fiber tear.
With the transfer of Leon Bailey to Aston Villa, Leverkusen were already facing a lack of options out wide, and after this injury Moussa Diaby is the only winger available. This creates a tough situation for the opening Bundesliga fixture against Union Berlin. While the returning Florian Wirtz (minor muscle problem) and Nadiem Amiri can play out wide, it would certainly stretch the squad thin.
The option of going for a double striker formation is also out of the question, with Lucas Alario out with injury as well. Joel Pohjanpalo is probably looking for a new club, and Paulinho, who won the Gold medal with the Brazilian football contingent at the Olympics today, will probably not be back soon enough either.
All these are problems that Rudi Voller and Simon Rolfes need to look at urgently. A new winger might already be on the wish list, but with their Champions League aspirations, surely that would not be all as far as squad planning goes.
While this points to a striker and winger being the need of the hour, the defense could see a new face too. Piero Hincapie has been linked to the red company side in recent times and the long cursed Right Back position is by no means secure.
One cannot tell what the Leverkusen squad will look like three weeks from now, but the fans expect a busy three weeks nonetheless.