Once one of the world’s most highly-touted young players, oft-injured Greek international Kyriakos Papadopoulos has made his season-long loan to Bayer Leverkusen a permanent move, signing on through the summer of 2020, the club announced.
The 23-year-old defender suffered a serious knee injury in 2012 that has bogged him down since, and a pair of shoulder injuries forced him to sit much of this campaign, making just 14 league appearances for Bayer this past season during his loan. Despite that, the former Schalke man decided to stay long-term.
“I am delighted that it worked out,” Papadopoulos told the Leverkusen official website. “I am looking forward to my future with this great team and think we can still move forward a lot.”
“Bayer also added Kyriakos Papadopoulos for the future. The Greek has signed a contract until June 30, 2020.”
A former Olympiacos youth player, Papadopoulos made his Bundesliga debut for Schalke at just 18 years old in 2010, earning a first-team place down the stretch of the 2010/11 season and making 29 league appearances the following season. A November 2012 match against Hamburg proved ill-fated as he tore his ACL, keeping him out for a full 383 days before returning to action.
He was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League before that knee injury, with Liverpool often mentioned as a suitor. They were reportedly still interested once he made a recovery, but his shoulder injuries again halted their attempts.