1. FSV Mainz 05 have confirmed the signing of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Andre Ramalho in a season-long loan deal. The deal comes as little surprise with Mainz needing cover in the midfield area due to the injury to Danny Latza back in July.
'Robust' midfielder eager to prove his worth
Ramalho told the club's official website that he is "delighted to be joining Mainz", and that he wishes "to prove [himself] here this season."
The Brazilian also added that the club have "high expectations for the season" after finishing last season in sixth place, and although it is "certainly not going to be easy" Ramalho is "sure [Mainz] will be successful" this season.
Sporting director Rouven Schröder also spoke after the confirmation of the deal, saying that the club "wanted another German-speaking midfielder" after the injury to Latza. Schroder added that the signing gives Mainz "more stability in the centre of the field", and described Ramalho as a player who is "aggressive, robust, energetic and has a great positional game".
Ramalho's versatile nature offers cover in various positions
Ramalho can also play as a full-back and a centre-back, although with the aforementioned injury to Latza in midfield it is more likely that the Brazilian will be playing in his favoured defensive midfield role for Die Nullfünfer this season.
Ramalho made 25 appearances in total for Bayer Leverkusen last season, mostly as a centre-back. He appeared in 13 of the last 14 games in the 2015/16 Bundesliga season for Leverkusen and was only absent against Eintracht Frankfurt in April due to a suspension picked up via the accumulation of yellow cards.
Prior to his move to the Bundesliga in 2015, Ramalho played for both Red Bull Salzburg and FC Liefering in Austria, for whom he made 99 and 21 appearances respectively across a total of three years.