Bayern Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz reportedly made a go to to Liverpool’s coaching floor final month, with a possible January switch within the offing. So right here is every part it’s worthwhile to know in regards to the teenager.
Why would Liverpool have an interest?
Rising up close to the Dutch border, Havertz, born in 1999, joined Leverkusen in 2010 and labored his means by way of the membership’s academy.
After serving to Bayer’s under-17 facet to a Bundesliga title with 19 targets within the 2015-16 season, the teenager took a short-cut into the senior staff after impressing then-head coach Rogers Schmidt in that summer season’s coaching camps.
Just a few months later, at 17 years and 126 days, Havertz grew to become the youngest ever participant to put on the Bayer jersey. There was no stopping him from there. He made his Champions League debut just a few days later, approaching as a late substitute in a 1-Zero win in opposition to Tottenham on the Wembley Stadium.
By the top of the season, nonetheless 17, he had made an unbelievable 28 first-team appearances — although, due to his A-Degree exams on the Landrat-Lucas-Gymnasium, Havertz missed the second leg of Leverkusen’s Champions League round-of-16 defeat to Atletico Madrid in March.
Havertz scored his first ever brace at senior stage within the last sport of the season, a 6-2 win at Hertha Berlin. In 24 league video games, he scored a complete of 4 targets and arrange an additional six. And has now represented his nation from U16 to U19 stage.
Good numbers for a younger participant. Is he an attacker?
No. Havertz will be an attacker, however he also can play a lot deeper. He can play on the wing and is a flexible attacking risk, however has not settled on a place. Nonetheless, there may be one place he needs to be: the place he could make an affect.
The 18-year-old likes to orchestrate strikes within the last third, and he has the method and the imaginative and prescient to do it. Havertz has not solely cited Mesut Ozil as his function mannequin however has additionally been in comparison with the Arsenal playmaker by Leverkusen sporting director and 1990 World Cup winner Rudi Voller.
“Kai’s a bit like Mesut Ozil, the best way he strokes the ball, and the composure to make issues look straightforward,” Voller stated again in February. “He simply has the present, particularly together with his left foot. His ball management is simply sensational.”
At 6-foot-1, although, he’s a bit taller than Ozil and has since drawn comparisons with former Leverkusen nice Michael Ballack.
He is 18, he cannot be a completed product. There should be issues he nonetheless must be taught.
Certainly. Whereas he’s good and “essentially the most full 17-year-old” Leverkusen captain Lars Bender has ever skilled, his defensive contributions to this point has been extra Ozil than Ballack. Sure, he likes to run, and wins aerial duels, however he wants to trace again higher. Fortunately, although, Havertz is conscious that he has not peaked but.
“I can learn a sport fairly okay. However there may be nonetheless a number of room for enchancment,” he stated earlier this yr, including that his “proper foot is just not at 100 % but.”
Having introduced himself on the large stage final time period, in his second season, Havertz has solely made a serious affect in a single sport, as Leverkusen turned a 1-Zero half-time deficit right into a 5-1 win within the derby at Borussia Monchengladbach, largely all the way down to Havertz’s three assists within the opening phases of the second half.
So it seems like he is destined for larger issues than Bundesliga?
He could be simply 18, however he already has performed on the most important stage there may be in membership soccer. With three Champions League appearances to his title final season, Havertz will not play European soccer this time period as Leverkusen solely simply survived a relegation struggle.
Below new head coach Heiko Herrlich, they’ve slowly picked up tempo in Bundesliga. And, with 16 factors from 11 matches, are one in every of many groups in place to assault a high 4 spot — an important a part of retaining the midfielder, and in addition different proficient kids like centre-back Jonathan Tah or winger Julian Brandt past the summer season.
Leverkusen might need loads of proficient kids, however related gamers haven’t stayed at Bayer for lengthy prior to now; they don’t seem to be a membership children dream of and Havertz himself was “mad about Alemannia Aachen [his local club] and Barcelona.”
“The membership’s aim is to play in Europe, and Champions League is on high of that listing. We have been a daily visitor there in recent times, and we might like to return there,” Havertz stated in late September, shortly after signing a brand new five-year take care of the membership.
Be it at Leverkusen or elsewhere, the midfielder will return to Champions League fairly before later.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Observe him on Twitter @uersfeld.