Bayer Leverkusen today permanently signed goalkeeper Bernd Leno on a five-year contract after the talented teenager impressed during his loan from Stuttgart. Leno, 19, was one of Leverkusen's heroes in last week's shock 2-1 UEFA Champions League win over Chelsea, pulling off a string of fine saves that put his side in the knockout stages.
He joined Leverkusen in August on loan after an injury crisis among Bayer's goalkeepers when Germany star Rene Adler and reserve Fabian Giefer were both ruled out. Since then, Leno has made 13 German league appearances and he has now signed an undisclosed deal to stay until June 2017.
"I feel very good at the club and I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to play Bundesliga and Champions League football. I want to repay their faith in me," said Leno. Adler is still struggling to recover from a knee injury after surgery and is expected to be a long-term absentee.
"With Bernd Leno, we have secured the services of one of Germany's outstanding goalkeeping talents for the long term," said Leverkusen director of sport Rudi Voller. "Bernd has helped us in the past few months in a very difficult situation. He has been an excellent replacement for the injured Rene Adler and played a big part in helping us reach the second round of the Champions League."