Who Will Bear Leverkusen’s Goals Burden? Alario, Volland or A.N Other?

The much-expected sale of Kai Havertz this summer will see Bayer Leverkusen lose one of their major sources of goals. The 20-year-old was the club’s top scorer last season with 12 goals and is widely being tipped with a move to the Premier League with Chelsea leading the chase for his signature.

The Werkself are not only losing their main creator and biggest talent, but with a fifth of their goals coming via the boot/ head of Havertz last season, they are losing a large chunk of their goals. Trainer Peter Bosz is very much a 4-2-3-1 man with the alternative 4-1-4-1 or 3-4-3 all favouring a single striker up front.

With the loss of Havertz, the two recognised front men left in the squad are Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario. Which one of them is going to be chosen to spearhead the Bayer attack next season?

That decision might actually be taken out of the trainer’s hands if Argentine striker Alario doesn’t get assurances over his future first team involvement. Unhappy at his lack of game time last season, the 27-year-old is reportedly looking to leave the Bay Arena club if no guarantees are forthcoming. Having arrived with much expectation in the summer of 2017 for €24 million from River Plate, the expected flood of goals never materialised and in his three seasons at the club has not reached double figures in any of them.

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The past season saw him make just 11 Bundesliga starts (24 appearances, 1174 minutes) scoring 7 goals. His goals per 90 minutes ratio of 0.54 was however higher than both Havertz and Volland (both 0.44). However, on a number of occasions, the coach preferred to play Kai Havertz in an unorthodox central striking role even when Alario was fit and raring to go.

It has to be concluded that Bosz just doesn’t have complete faith in the Argentine striker.

2019-20 Bundesliga

Lucas Alario

Kevin Volland

     
Age

27

28

Appearances

24

27

Minutes

1174

2047

Goals

7

10

Assists

1

7

Goals per 90 mins

0.54

0.44

xG

6.9

11.6

Shots

47

75

% shots on target

38.3

42.7

Kevin Volland on the other hand reached double figures last season scoring 10 goals in his 27 appearances. It was the third season in a row he’d reached two-digits having scored 14 in each of his two previous seasons. The 2019-20 campaign was interrupted by a torn syndesmosis ligament in his left ankle, which kept him out for almost three months.

There is however a little doubt over the 28-year-old’s future with his current contract due to expire at the end of the 2020-21 season and as yet no agreement on extending the deal. There would be no shortage of takers should Volland be looking for a new challenge. He’s currently valued at around €28 million and Leverkusen would hate to lose him next season for nothing.

Losing Kai Havertz is a big blow to the Werkself, but losing Volland as well would be heavy burden to bear, and if I had to bet on it, I’d consider Alario the more likely to exit the club.

That would leave the returning Joel Pohjanpalo as the only other recognised striker in the Leverkusen squad. The 25-year-old Finn had a successful Rückrunde on loan at Hamburg scoring 9 goals in his 14 appearances, but should he remain at the club, would provide back-up only.

Simon Rolfes and Rudi Völler will have money to spend if and when the Kai Havertz transfer comes off, but whether that stretches to bringing in a new striker remains to be seen. Do Bayer have a transfer ace up their sleeve? Will both Alario and Volland be at the club next season? Who will fire the goals needed to get back into the top four?

The answers will probably only be revealed after conclusion of Leverkusen’s Europa League campaign in August.

About Mathew Burt 221 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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