Adam Hlozek: Volland Void at Bayer Leverkusen is Finally Fulfilled by $14.3m

One of the most interesting summer transfers was Adam Hlozek’s transfer to Bayer Leverkusen. The deal will see the 19-year-old Czech striker join Die Werkself. It is worth $14.3 million in total. According to Transmarkt, the deal could grow to $19.8million once all performance-based bonuses have been hit. Sparta Prague will also receive 30% of any future transfers.

Simon Rolfes, Leverkusen’s sporting director, stated that Adam Hlozek was a player who could be dangerous as a support striker, as well as being dangerous on the wing. His flexibility, power and effectiveness in attack will allow us to be more flexible.

Many believed that Hlozek would be the successor to his compatriot PatrikSchick when rumors first started to circulate. Schick has however been signed to a new contract, which will last until 2027, and does not contain an exit clause.

Hlozek will instead be a complement to an attacking core which already includes MoussaDiaby, Sardar Azmoun and Amine Adli. Paulinho is also expected to return from injury in November. Super talent Florian Wirtz will join the team. Leverkusen and Ukrainian winger Mykhailo Mudryk will be able to provide one of the most deadly attacks in the Bundesliga.

There is plenty of depth. Leverkusen may sell Diaby or Paulinho this summer. The depth of attack raises questions about where the pieces will fit together and whether Hlozek is really a long-term replacement for Schick.

However, the numbers underline that Leverkusen may have finally signed in Hlozek a piece that could replace Kevin Volland. Leverkusen sold Volland in 2020 to Monaco for $12.1million.

Volland is comfortable both in the centre and on the wing. This trade was inherited from Andreas Volland, former German hockey team forward. Volland is mobile, strong, and dynamic with a low center-of-gravity. Leverkusen’s 1860 Munich forward gave him a lot of flexibility, as he could play multiple roles simultaneously. His only weakness was his flying ability.

Hlozek is involved in many of the same trades. You can see that their numbers are very similar. Volland is right to note that Hlozek can play in the center, but he can also play on both the wings and against a true number 9, like Schick.

Hlozek and Volland had similar results last season. Hlozek was playing in the Czech league’s weaker league and had an xG score of 14.49. Volland’s score was 14.98. Volland scored 14 goals across all competitions, while Hlozek had 13 non-penalty goals.

Volland is better at hitting the target (30.63% vs. 51.9%), but Hlozek has a lot of key attributes that make him an attractive proposition for Leverkusen decision-makers. Hlozek has more dribbles per 90 (5.33% vs 2.28) and more key passes per 90 (0.64vs 0.57). Volland had 3.98 vs 2.87, while Hlozek had 3.98 vs 2.87.

Volland’s numbers were produced in a more competitive league, but that is a caveat. The German striker is also ten-years older, and his experience should compensate for the difference in competitiveness between Ligue 1 (Czech Fortuna Liga) and Ligue 1. Leverkusen has now found an attacking player who will allow them to have the same flexibility as Volland, who was a key player in the team’s history.

Manuel Veth hosts the Bundesliga Gegenpressing Podcast. He is also the Area Manager USA at Transfermarkt. He has been published in Newsweek, Howler and the Guardian as well as Pro Soccer USA. Follow him on Twitter at @ManuelVeth

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