Roger Schmidt Replaces Sami Hyypia as Bayer Leverkusen Manager

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2014

Salzburg head coach Roger Schmidt looks on prior to the Europa League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Red Bull Salzburg and FC Basel in Salzburg, Austria, on Thursday, March 20. 2014. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)
Kerstin Joensson

With an up-and-down 2013-14 campaign reaching its conclusion, Bayer Leverkusen have decided that Roger Schmidt is the man who will lead them back to prominence in the Bundesliga.

According to Bleacher Report's Andy Brassell, Bayer have hired Schmidt away from Austria's Red Bull Salzburg to be their new manager on a two-year deal:

The move was confirmed by Bundesliga.com, and Schmidt expressed his excitement regarding an opportunity to make a splash in one of the world's top leagues.

"I'm really looking forward to the new challenge at a great club and am delighted to be able to work in the Bundesliga," Schmidt said.

The move comes just a few weeks after the sacking of Sami Hyypia, who was unable to halt a slide that saw Bayer plummet in the Bundesliga standings.

Bayer Leverkusen have since rebounded to fourth place under interim manager Sascha Lewandowski, and the pieces appear to be in place for Schmidt to have a great deal of success moving forward.

Schmidt has prior German managerial experience, most notably with SC Paderborn 07 of the 2. Bundesliga, but there is no question that his greatest success has come with Salzburg.

Schmidt led the prominent club to second place in the Austrian Bundesliga last season before taking the league title in 2013-14. Although his high-level coaching experience is limited, Schmidt has big name recognition in Germany.

Bayer were certainly linked to other intriguing candidates, including sacked Manchester United manager David Moyes, according to football agent Edward Blackwood:

That obviously didn't come to fruition as Bayer Leverkusen instead opted for someone with a more intimate knowledge of the German style.

Schmidt's capability of performing well in the German Bundesliga is somewhat of an unknown at this point, but Bayer's late-season rebound should give the club some good vibes heading into 2014-15.

Bayern Munich will continue to be the class of the league, but with Borussia Dortmund potentially starting to come back to the field, a second-place finish next season for Bayer under the guidance of Schmidt isn't outside the realm of possibility.

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