Bayer 04 Leverkusen have signed Colombia international Santiago Arias Naranjo. The 28-year-old joins Leverkusen from top Spanish LaLiga side Atletico Madrid with Arias initially coming in on a 12-month loan. In addition, the Werkself have an option to buy the 1.78 metre tall right back who has made 53 appearances for his home country to date.
“We have signed a very experienced player in Santiago Arias who will quickly be able to help us,” declared the sporting managing director Rudi Völler. “This transfer is important for the structure of our team due to the large number of fixtures over the coming weeks.”
Bayer 04 sporting director Simon Rolfes has worked hard over recent weeks to bring in Arias and he sees in the Colombian a player, “who has proved himself at a top European club. The quality of the Spanish league is well known,” said Rolfes, “as is Atlético Madrid’s. Santiago will be a key player in our team with his footballing ability and his mentality.”
For the right-footer, who will wear the number two shirt for the Werkself, the move to Germany is “a fantastic opportunity to take on a new challenge after two great and successful years in Madrid. Bayer 04 Leverkusen are one of the best clubs in the Bundesliga with a very good reputation in Spain. I experienced how football’s played here with Atlético in the Champions League,” Arias explained. “That’s why I’m very much looking forward to the German league and my new teammates. We have a team that can go a long way – and I want to help achieve that.”