Julian Baumgartlinger has joined Bayer Leverkusen on a four-year deal after his buyout clause of just €4m was activated. The midfielder spent five seasons with Mainz.
Happy player, happy life
“I had a great and successful time at Mainz” declared the 28-year-old Baumgartlinger, “but now I want to take the next step. Bayer 04 Leverkusen are an established Champions League club and they’ve regularly been in the competition for years. I want to see how I compare at this level with the best European clubs and players. I’m very happy to get this chance at Leverkusen.”
Long-term Werkself sporting director Rudi Völler also spoke of his delight of the signing: “Julian Baumgartlinger fully meets our requirements. A character of a player with leadership qualities, ambitious, physically strong with strategic ability,” and boldly added, “He will improve the quality level of our squad and increase the competition for places.”
Much like Völler, Baumgartlinger played for 1860 München early in his career and came through the youth ranks before moving on to FK Austria Wien in his homeland. Two years later, he was brought into Mainz by now-Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel for €1.1m.
It comes as no shock that this is great business from Leverkusen. Baumgartlinger has been one of the finest holding midfielders in the Bundesliga this season — featuring 31 times for Mainz this season.
As a result of his fine form, the Austrian international has helped the Karnevalsverein to a lofty sixth-placed finish and achieved Europa League football, one of the best seasons in the club’s history, scoring two goals along the way — against Schalke and Werder Bremen.
Bayer Leverkusen ended their solid season of claiming third spot with a dramatic win over Ingolstadt. Now, Baumgartlinger has the luxury of partaking in the “next step” of the Champions League with Roger Schmidt’s men.