Leverkusen starlet Julian Brandt: Barcelona links are an “honour”

Leverkusen starlet Julian Brandt: Barcelona links are an “honour”

Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt has admitted he is honoured to be linked with a move to Barcelona, but is remaining grounded.

The 21-year-old is in his fourth year as a Leverkusen player, having made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2014.

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After Leverkusen failed to qualify for the Champions League last season, finishing 12th in the Bundesliga, many had fears the German would leave.

One of the teams linked with a move for Brandt was Barcelona, who lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

But Brandt has insisted he will not let the interest affect him.

“This is an honour in any case, I will not deny that now,” Brandt told Omnisport.

“Of course, this is always a sign that your achievements were not for nothing.

“And like I said, of course it reflects your performance on the pitch, but you have to block out something like that in the end.

“If you always float on a cloud and say: ‘I’m such a cool guy, because this club wants to have me’, this is the wrong way, because then you drop with your achievements.”

Brandt has played 145 times for Leverkusen, scoring 24 goals and recording 32 assists. Barcelona also held an interest in signing Philippe Coutinho, though Liverpool turned down multiple bids worth up to £150 million.

Brandt shining creatively in underperforming Leverkusen team

Playing every game for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga this season, Brandt has been one of the club’s standout players.

Creating 14 chances for his teammates so far, only Leon Bailey has been more creative for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga this season.

Performing best creatively down the middle of the pitch, Brandt has recorded two assists in the league to add to his three goals so far.

Julian Brandt has hit the target with 73% of his shots in the Bundesliga this season (excluding blocked shots)