A.S. Monaco capture Bayer Leverkusen's Benjamin Henrichs

A.S. Monaco capture Bayer Leverkusen's Benjamin Henrichs

The French club have secured the services of the highly sought after 21-year-old defender.

Alex Howell

A.S. Monaco have completed the signing of Bayer Leverkusen defender, Benjamin Henrichs. The 21-year-old defender, who has also appeared on three occasions for the German national side, signs a five-year deal with the Cote d'Azur club.

The Werkself's acquisition of Hertha BSC defender Mitchell Weiser in May suggested that the 21-year-old, Henrichs, may be up for sale. But it has taken until the end of August for any deal to be completed, with the French transfer window closing shut on the 31st August. 

The departure of a homegrown star

Henrichs joined Leverkusen at the age of seven in 2004, rising up through the Werkself's various youth teams before finally breaking into the first-eleven in 2015. In his fourteen-year spell with the North Rhine Westphalian side, Henrichs made more than 80 first team appearances spanning four seasons. That includes some eight matches in the UEFA Champions League, including two Group Stage games in the 2016/17 edition of Europe's premier competition against his new employers, A.S. Monaco.

"Benny has played football under the Bayer cross since he was a kid," said Leverkusen Managing Director of Sport, Rudi Völler, in reference to Henrichs departure to the Monegasque outfit. "He achieved some great successes. We wish him all the best for the next phase of his life abroad," the 58-year-old added.

A welcome addition

Capable of playing at both left back and right back, Henrichs will serve as a welcome addition to an Monaco defence that has struggled to define itself following the departure of Benjamin Mendy to Manchester City in 2017. The Principality club attempted to replace the Manchester-bound Mendy with Terence Kongolo, who arrived from then Eredivisie champions, Feyenoord. However, the young-Dutch defender failed to live up to expectations and was hastily moved on to Huddersfield Town in January 2018. It is hoped that the German international, Henrichs, will be the man to finally replace Mendy.

Henrichs told the official Monaco website, "I am very proud to be involved with A.S. Monaco, a top European club for many years. I will do everything to adapt quickly and help the team win many victories." The 21-year-old added, "I cannot wait to work with the staff and my new teammates."