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BFW with Bayer Leverkusen: Edmond Tapsoba is hungry for success in 2023

Jack Laushway sat down with Edmond Tapsoba, who talked about his hopes for the upcoming season and the toughest player he’s ever faced.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v SC Paderborn - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Bavarian Football Works staffer Jack Laushway is attending Bayer Leverkusen’s training camp in Austria and will be interviewing several key players of the squad during this week. Leverkusen are shaping up to one of the most exciting teams in the upcoming Bundesliga season and Edmond Tapsoba was one of the players who spoke with BFW during the week.

Edmond Tapsoba has been one of the most promising young defenders in the Bundesliga for years now, and the chemistry of the Leverkusen backline is something special at this point. Tapsoba had lots to say about the team and upcoming goals.

Tapsoba recently hit 100 Bundesliga appearances and the 24-year-old center-back said he would like to help the team qualify for the Champions League next season. Under Xabi Alonso, Leverkusen enter the year as a young and hungry side bolstered also by experience — a potent mix, in Tapsoba’s estimation.

It’s not only on defense where Tapsoba might make his mark, either. He finished the last three seasons with a goal to his name in each campaign, and will be looking to best that in 2023/24. Tapsoba had an expected goals (xG) of 2.8 last season, a sharp increase from his xG of 0.4 the year prior. It appears as though Tapsoba is getting more involved in the offense and Leverkusen might have even more players scoring next season.

And beyond Leverkusen, Tapsoba is thinking of international glory. Burkina Faso has been on the rise in recent years, with some solid showings in African tournaments with some great young talent, Tapsoba included.

“It would mean everything,” Tapsoba said of the chance to qualify for the FIFA 2026 Men’s World Cup. “We drew Egypt in our group though, which is a very tough team.”

As for the toughest player he’s ever faced? The Bundesliga has featured fearsome attackers, the likes of Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland (now at Manchester City) and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (now at FC Barcelona) in recent years. But Tapsoba’s answer may surprise: Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian international scored a 21st minute goal in a 2-1 quarter-final win over Leverkusen in the Europa League in August of 2020.

But that’s all in the past. Some great things are surely to come for Tapsoba and Leverkusen this season.

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