The former Premier League stars behind Bayer Leverkusen's title win

  • Bayer Leverkusen sealed Bundesliga title on Sunday
  • Xabi Alonso's men secured first Bundesliga trophy in club's history
  • Several ex-Premier League stars helped contribute to success
Xhaka and Frimpong have been standout for Leverkusen
Xhaka and Frimpong have been standout for Leverkusen / Lars Baron/Getty Images, ANP via Getty Images

For the first time in history, Bayer Leverkusen have won the Bundesliga.

They have ended Bayern Munich's strangehold on German football, being led by Xabi Alonso from the dugout.

To get there, he sought to build on the club's existing talent, but also brought in some quality players from the Premier League, who have more than repaid his faith.

Here are the former stars of the Premier League who have contributed to Leverkusen's success.

Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka
Xhaka has completely turned his career around / Rene Nijhuis/MB Media/GettyImages
  • Bundesliga 2023/24 appearances so far: 29
  • Former Premier League club: Arsenal

When Granit Xhaka threw his captain's armband to the floor and willingly invited the furore of Arsenal fans in October 2019, it was hard to imagine him ever reviving his career whether in north London or elsewhere.

He had half a foot out the door to an ambitious - but ultimately a failed - project at Hertha Berlin before being convinced to stay at the Emirates Stadium by Mikel Arteta.

Before eventually departing the Gunners for good in 2023, Xhaka re-established reputation as gifted midfielder. By the time he made his return to the Bundesliga with Leverkusen, he was a reliable and senior presence.

That's helped mature Alonso's young stars. Together with the experienced Robert Andrich, Xhaka has marshalled a midfield which has encouraged their attacking talent to flourish.

Jeremie Frimpong

Jeremie Frimpong, Jonathan Tah
Frimpong's chipped in with plenty of goals and assists / Rene Nijhuis/MB Media/GettyImages
  • Bundesliga 2023/24 appearances so far: 27
  • Former Premier League club: Manchester City

Once upon a time, Jeremie Frimpong was on the books at Manchester City. In fact, he spent a whopping nine years in their youth ranks, but made the wise move to Celtic before playing a senior game.

While in Glasgow, Frimpong established himself as one of Europe's best up-and-coming right-backs, making the move to Leverkusen in 2021.

It wasn't until Alonso's arrival that Frimpong's humungous talent began to burst at the seams. In the Spaniard's 3-4-3 this season, the Dutchman has contributed eight goals and eight assists in 27 Bundsliga matches. Those are better numbers than those for a lot of top-class wingers.

Nathan Tella

Nathan Tella
Tella's made a surprise impact in Germany / Lars Baron/GettyImages
  • Bundesliga 2023/24 appearances so far: 20
  • Former Premier League club: Arsenal, Southampton

Having failed to make the grade at Arsenal and then only showing his quality in bursts in the senior ranks of Southampton, Nathan Tella made the most of his chance to impress on loan at Championship winners Burnley last season.

Leverkusen snapped the versatile forward - who's played in a similar wing-back role to Frimpong as well - for a cool £20m and has championed the squad's next-man-up mentality.

Matej Kovar

UEFA Europa League 2023/24Bayer 04 Leverkusen v West Ham United FC
Kovar remains highly-rated / ANP/GettyImages
  • Bundesliga 2023/24 appearances so far: 1
  • Former Premier League club: Manchester United

The main problem preventing top talent Matej Kovar from playing more frequently for Leverkusen is he plays the same position as club captain Lukas Hradecky. Well, that and you can only play one goalkeeper at a time.

There was talk of Kovar potentially succeeding David de Gea at Manchester United last summer before he signed for Leverkusen on a £7.7m deal. He's at least had a chance to earn some major minutes in their DFB Pokal and Europa League runs.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Timothy Fosu-Mensah
The only photo available from Fosu-Mensah in this season's kit is from media day / Christof Koepsel/GettyImages
  • Bundesliga 2023/24 appearances so far: 0
  • Former Premier League club: Manchester United

Congratulations to United academy graduate Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who has not played a single minute all season due to injury and fitness concerns but at least has the chance to be given a shoutout in this article.