Bayern Leverkusen’s wonder kid Kai Havertz has rapidly risen from a mere prospect to bona fide star since making his debut in 2016. The highly sought-after German has been making serene progress during his formative years, but truly enhanced his burgeoning reputation last campaign after bagging 20 goals across all competitions, as well as notching six assists. There are so few who have his level of experience at his tender age, coupled with astronomical talent. What Kai Havertz has achieved while still being a teenager would be the envy of a lot of legendary football players who made their mark in the game in a short period.
Bayern Leverkusen can boast of a list of phenomenal players in their books, including Michael Ballack, Toni Kross, and Arturo Vidal. In Kai Havertz, they have another name on that list and one earning similar superlatives.
In modern football times, the talents of young players have always been the center of exaggeration. However, it is a different case with the 20-year-old Havertz. In over four years of playing Bundesliga football, Havertz has shown a level of talent, consistency, and does not seem to have any weakness. He does everything with pinpoint accuracy, and he is arguably the most crucial individual in the Bayern Leverkusen team.
How unique is Kai Havertz?
After making his debut in 2016 as a substitute against Werder Bremen, Kai Havertz became Bayern Leverkusen’s all-time youngest debutant in the Bundesliga. He also became the youngest player to wear a Bayern Leverkusen shirt in the UEFA Champions League. Havertz’s talent has been irresistible, making him the focal point of the side. Since making his debut, Havertz has gone on to become the youngest ever player in the history of the Bundesliga to make 50 and 100 match appearances. Havertz has also played 139 competitive matches, despite being a youngster.
His winning goal against VFB Stuttgart on his 100th competitive appearance for Leverkusen last season saw him become the first teenager in Bundesliga history to reach 17 goals in a single season. As a player, he gives 2.51 key passes per 90 minutes and 0.24 assists per game. Of all the midfielders aged 20 or under in the top five leagues, he ranks first and second in those two stats. Havertz has operated in a variety of roles for Bayern Leverkusen in the last few seasons featuring as a number six, number eight, right-winger, and even as a false nine. However, he has excelled very well as a number 10 with the license to push forward and dictate the course of the games. Havertz is an exciting prospect who combines the technical ability of a traditional playmaker with dynamism, intelligent movement, and an eye for goal. In the era of pressing and possession-based football, Havertz is the prototypical number 10 of the future. Havertz’s best attributes do not reflect on his statistics. His key asset is his movement, both on and off the ball. In this department, he excels at finding space in the channels in between the lines or out wide to affect play. It comes as no surprise that Bayern Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Voller has labeled him a once in a century talent. With such praises from a legend like Voller, it is clear that Havertz is developing into a superstar. As such, only a few would or could refute the claim that he is currently the best young midfielder in European football.
Which European clubs are monitoring him?
Havertz has become the next youth sensation from the German talent machine and is already one of the best players in the Bundesliga. His performances for Leverkusen have commanded interest from top European clubs like Barcelona, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, and Man United. The Catalan giants have traditionally had a penchant for boasting a highly skilled playmaker or a classic number 10, with their current footballing lineage tracing back to the likes of Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona. Philippe Coutinho was supposed to be the ideal candidate for that integral role, but for many reasons, things haven’t quite worked out for him. He has since left the club for a loan spell at Bayern Munich. The Catalan giants are searching for a long-term replacement for Messi, and they now view Havertz as his perfect replacement. Man City boss Pep Guardiola is also searching for a suitable successor for David Silva, and Havertz is the exact sort of player Guardiola view him as a long term replacement for the departing Spaniard. The question is, should Havertz consider moving this summer if one of these top European clubs comes calling? At the moment, he is still young and in good hands at Bayern Leverkusen. The conditions at the club are perfect for top young players and their development. It could be a wise decision for him to spend at least two or three seasons at the Bay Arena before considering a move.