Papadopoulos joins Bayer backline
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Bayer Leverkusen have signed Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos from German Bundesliga rivals Schalke on loan until the end of the season. The 22-year-old has missed much of the past two seasons due to injury, but he now hopes to kick-start his career after at the BayArena.

"I'm really pleased this transfer's worked out," said Papadopoulos on his new club's website. "Just like Schalke, Leverkusen are a very ambitious club. Unfortunately I was injured often last season, but now I'm fully fit again and highly motivated to reach my personal aims and those of the club this season."

Schalke did not want to stand in the way of a player who will return to them in a year's time with 12 months still to run on a contract he signed in 2012.

"It was Kyriakos' wish after his long injury absence to be able to gain more match practice and that is why we agreed to this loan," said Schalke's director of sport Horst Heldt. "We hope that his wish is fulfilled."

According to Leverkusen's director of sport Rudi Voller, his team are getting a "quick, strong and success-hungry" player.

"With Kyriakos Papadopoulos, we have further bolstered the quality in our defence," he added. "Consequently, we feel we are well equipped in every part of our team and ready for the challenges to come."