Via numerous outlets in both Germany in Spain, Kicker and AS respectively, Atlético Madrid have been linked with Bayer Leverkusen’s Kevin Kampl. The 26-year-old midfielder signed for Atleti’s last-16 opponents after a failed spell under Jürgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, where he has shown once again his ability. He has played the most minutes by an outfield in Leverkusen’s squad, and has been very good, despite his club’s slide down the Bundesliga table this season.
The Slovenian is very much an all-action midfielder like Atleti stalwarts Gabi and Tiago, and with those two advancing in age. A replacement will be needed sooner rather than later, particularly in the case of Tiago, who has shown his age in this year’s campaign.
Kampl is more of an offensive player than Gabi or Tiago, but not as focused on attacking as a player like Koke is. With the ability to intercept the ball as well as dribble beyond defenders, Kampl is very much an engine-room type player, capable of holding together a midfield. Throughout this season Atleti’s midfield has been imbalanced, and the proper pairing has yet to be established, especially when one of Koke or Saúl is deployed on the wing.
Overall, this is a transfer that makes sense, especially if a midfield departure takes place. However it does rely on Atleti’s registration ban being lifted, which could still happen, but at this moment in time it is unclear. Kampl would not be overly expensive, and is already in his prime years, with time still to go before age begins to reduce his quality.
This move makes sense for Atleti, but would require several things to fall into place first. So for now, watch this space, and depending on the result of the registration ban, then excitement around transfers can start to build.