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Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen most expensive player sales - How Werkself made almost €600 million in outgoing transfers

3:00 AM EDT 8/31/22
Leverkusen have developed a reputation as the perfect stepping stone, selling many of their talented youngsters to the big clubs around Europe

If you're an up and coming talent looking for a career springboard, then Bayer Leverkusen isn't the worst choice.

This is evident by the Werkself's transfer record, with numerous young players earning a big-money move after impressing at Leverkusen.

Leverkusen may not win title after title, but as a regular in the Champions League, the club offers its players the opportunity to test themselves regularly on Europe's biggest stage.

There have been several players who have managed to attract the attention of some of the finest clubs in the world with their performances for Leverkusen, helping the Bundesliga side fill their coffers.

Six of the top seven sales by Leverkusen were no older than 23 when they left the club and with players like Hakan Calhanoglu, Heung-Min Son and Kai Havertz, there have certainly been some high-profile names who came through the ranks at Bayer.

Leverkusen most expensive sales by season


Biggest Sale

Transfer Fee

Total Sales


Lucas Alario




Leon Bailey




Kai Havertz




Julian Brandt




Bernd Leno




Hakan Calhanoglu




Christoph Kramer




Heung-Min Son




Emre Can




Andre Schürrle




Renato Augusto




Arturo Vidal




Patrick Helmes




Theofanis Gekas




Paul Freier








Dimitar Berbatov




Emanuel Pogatetz








Sebastian Schoof




Ze Roberto




Robert Kovac








€592.5m (Approximately)

*All figures are taken from Transfermarkt unless stated otherwise

Bayer Leverkusen top 10 most expensive sales


    #10 Emerson | €18 million | Roma | 2000

    Emerson's sale to AS Roma in 2000 was Bayer Leverkusen's record sale for almost 13 years.

    The club had only paid Gremio €3.5 million for the Brazilian midfielder three years earlier and it constituted a really good return on the investment.

    Emerson had a great career, playing for the likes of Roma, Juventus, Milan and Real Madrid, among others, and won the Italian and Spanish league titles.

  • Benjamin Henrichs Leverkusen Hannover Bundesliga 12172017

    #9 Benjamin Henrichs | €20 million | Monaco | 2018

    Benjamin Henrichs came through the Leverkusen youth sides and went on to fetch the club a tidy sum when he left for Monaco in 2018 after three years in the first team.

    After two years, he returned to the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig, initially on loan.

    Leipzig then made the move permanent for €15 million in 2021.

  • Kevin Kampl Leipzig 24022022

    #8 Kevin Kampl | €20 million | RB Leipzig | 2017

    Kampl was yet another ex-Leverkusen star who ended up at RB Leipzig.

    The midfielder was also a product of the Leverkusen academy, but left the club for the first time in 2010 in search of first-team opportunities.

    He worked his way up through lower-league clubs and represented RB Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, before he returned to Leverkusen in 2015.

    Two years later, however, he went to RB Leipzig for €20 million and Bayer made a healthy profit of €9m on his sale.

  • Schürrle Schurrle Leverkusen 2012

    #7 Andre Schurrle | €22 million | Chelsea | 2013

    Schurrle is widely known as the player who assisted Mario Gotze's title-winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final.

    The former Germany winger honed his skills at Leverkusen, having joined the club in 2011 from Mainz.

    He stayed at Leverkusen for two years, scoring a total of 18 goals and collected 13 assists.

    English giants Chelsea came calling soon, but he didn't succeed in England.

    Surprisingly, Schurrle retired at the age of 29.

  • Hakan Calhanoglu Leverkusen 2015

    #6 Hakan Calhanoğlu | €23.3 million | Milan | 2017

    Calhanoglu was an extremely talented player who was bought by Bayer from Hamburg. In 2014, the club spent around €15 million for the then 20-year-old free-kick specialist.

    The Turkey international stayed at Leverkusen for three years, scoring 17 goals and providing 18 assists in 79 Bundesliga games before being sold to Serie A giants AC Milan for a profit.

    The attacking midfielder then made headlines when swapping the Rossoneri for arch-rivals Inter in 2021.

  • Bernd Leno Leverkusen Barcelona

    #5 Bernd Leno | €25 million | Arsenal | 2018

    Bernd Leno was an ever-present figure at Bayer Leverkusen for about seven years.

    From 2011 to 2018, Leno was the first-choice goalkeeper at Bayer and in that time, he only missed five Bundesliga games.

    At the age of 26, in 2018, he decided to move on to bigger pastures with a move to Arsenal.

    The Gunners paid a cool €25 million for Leno, who had three decent seasons at Arsenal before he lost his place as the club's first-choice keeper in 2021.

    Leno was then offloaded to Fulham ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

  • Julian Brandt Leverkusen 10032017

    #4 Julian Brandt | €25 million | Dortmund | 2019

    Julian Brandt came to Bayer from the youth team of VfL Wolfsburg at the age of 17 for a small transfer fee of €500,000.

    In Leverkusen, the technically gifted midfielder developed into a top talent and became a national-team regular.

    He spent five-and-a-half years at Bayer, making 165 Bundesliga appearances, in which he scored 34 goals and clocked 40 assists.

    He would end up moving to Borussia Dortmund in 2019.

  • Heung-min Son Tottenham Newcastle 2021-22

    #3 Heung-min Son | €30 million | Tottenham | 2015

    Heung-min Son might be tearing it up in the Premier League currently, but the South Korean was another player who built a reputation for himself at Bayer Leverkusen.

    After strong performances for Hamburg, Bayer secured the services of a 20-year-old Son in 2013.

    The South-Korean attacker justified the transfer fee of €12.5 million with 21 goals in 62 Bundesliga games for the Werkself.

    His pace and finishing skills started to attract attention of Europe's finest and he finally made the move to Tottenham in 2015 for €30 million - a handsome profit for the Bundesliga club.

  • Leon Bailey Leverkusen Leipzig Bundesliga 11182017

    #2 Leon Bailey | €32 million | Aston Villa | 2021

    In the four-and-a-half years Bailey spent at Bayer Leverkusen, his transfer fee almost doubled.

    After stints in Austria and Slovakia, Leverkusen bought the Jamaican from Belgium outfit Genk for €16.7 million.

    The speedy winger quickly made a name for himself at Bayer and was especially effective in his last season in the Bundesliga, when he managed 18 goal involvements (9 goals, 9 assists) in 30 games in 2020/21.

    Aston Villa were enticed enough to spend €32m on him.

  • Kai Havertz Leverkusen

    #1 Kai Havertz | €80 million | Chelsea | 2020

    Kai Havertz is by far Bayer Leverkusen's most expensive transfer sale.

    That was not the only record he set at the club, though.

    The Leverkusen youth product was the youngest player of all time to make 100 Bundesliga appearances. He set this mark at the age of 20 years and 186 days.

    He broke into the Leverkusen first team in the 2016/17 season and never looked back. He racked up 36 goals and 25 assists in 118 Bundesliga appearances, making Europe sit up and take note.

    Eventually, he went to Chelsea for a massive sum of €80 million.

    Incidentally, he scored the winning goal for Chelsea in the 2021 Champions League final against Manchester City.