Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno and Stefan Kiessling say the club’s new signings are looking good ahead of the new season.
Leverkusen will begin their 2013/14 campaign on Saturday with a DFB Pokal tie against sixth-tier club Lippstadt before they take on Freiburg in the Bundesliga a week later.
In the lead-up to their opening match of the season, Leverkusen’s goalkeeper Leno said coach Sami Hyypia’s new signings like Robbie Kruse, Son Heung-Min and Giulio Donati are ‘well integrated’, which should help Leverkusen start their campaign in top gear.
“I think we have several new signings and they all have been doing well and are well integrated, that’s what you can see on pitch after every friendly,” Leno said.
“Tactically we are well prepared, I think we are ready for the new season.”
Leverkusen finished third in the Bundesliga last season but have seen key figures leave the club, like German forward Andre Schuerrle to Chelsea and Spanish full-back Daniel Carvajal to Real Madrid.
In an effort to keep his team competitive with the best clubs in the Bundesliga, Hyppia has signed ex-Dusseldorf winger Kruse, former Hamburg forward Son and Donati from Inter Milan.
While Kiessling, Leverkusen’s top goal-scorer for the past two seasons, believes there is still room for improvement, he is pleased with how the club’s new players are looking.
“We have been working well with the new signings, they keep doing well with the team,” Kiessling said.
“It’s never easy to integrate many new players but I’m pretty confident we can retain last season’s efforts.
“But we have to be careful, it can take time, we are aware of it.”
Ahead of their Pokal clash away to Lippstadt, Leno has warned Leverkusen they cannot underestimate their lower-league opposition.
“We are prepared as we are ahead of every game,” Leno said.
“We know that in the cup underdogs can be very dangerous, that’s why we need to be prepared and well aware.
“But I think if we show our class there won’t be any damage.”