Kai Havertz. Many have heard the name but with the Bundesliga being thrust into the limelight in recent weeks football fans have wanted to see for themselves whether the 20 year-old German is the real deal. It would appear that he has flourished knowing that the world is watching, with five goals in three games since the restart, a good sign for a career seemingly destined for the top.
Despite being only 20, this is Havertz’ fourth senior season for Bayer Leverkusen. At the time he made his debut in the 2016/17 season he was the youngest player to play in the Bundesliga ever, going on to become Leverkusen’s youngest ever Bundesliga scorer at the time the following season. His profile has grown and grown and he has racked up a number of records in this period, being the youngest player to reach 50 Bundesliga appearances, 100 Bundesliga appearances and was also the youngest player to get to 30 Bundesliga goals before Jadon Sancho took this record on May 31st. He also has 7 Germany caps and 1 international goal to his name. An impressive CV for a player so young.
He has made most of these appearances playing as an attacking midfielder or from wide but since the Bundesliga has resumed he’s been playing as a lone striker, flourishing in a false nine role. This started as an alternative to Kevin Volland who usually leads the line for Leverkusen but was carrying an injury upon the return of football in Germany but Havertz’ performances as a striker has shown just how versatile the youngster is. A quality that will increase the already intense interest in him from Europe’s top clubs.
Havertz is predominantly left-footed but has a more than capable right foot, he’s 6’2 and uses his height well as displayed with his two headed goals against Werder Bremen in the first game back from the season break. He has tremendous vision and dribbling ability and can link the midfield and attack seamlessly and cannot be accused of a lack of pace. He is also not one to shirk responsibility, as shown by his penalty taking and occasional wearing of the captain’s armband. He has all the attributes to go right to the top should he not let it go to his head and many clubs are said to be willing to spend big to secure his services, his youth making him a long-term investment as well as his qualities allowing him to make an immediate impact at almost any team in world football.
Leverkusen appear to be resigned that he will leave the club that gave him his break, but their coach Peter Bosz is rumoured to be desperately trying to convince Havertz to give the club one more year. With the impact that Covid-19 is set to have on football and many clubs said to be cautious about spending big this summer Bosz could get his wish, especially if they can secure Champions League football once more. Rumours are that Leverkusen will accept no less than €100m for Havertz and this may put clubs off, at least this summer. Real Madrid have reportedly offered €80m and the option for Havertz to return to Leverkusen on loan next season which could be tempting for the German club, while Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern and numerous others are also said to be in the race for his signature.
All evidence suggests that Havertz is indeed the real deal but it can only be said for sure when he takes the leap to the top level of European clubs and delivers on the biggest of stages. This may happen next season but, with youth on his side, he has options. There are not many clubs, if any, in the world that Havertz wouldn’t instantly improve and he will be sure to be looking for guaranteed playing time. If Havertz does decide to stay put at Leverkusen this will do him no harm, with another year of developing as a key player before being thrust into the limelight even further. The limelight where he has flourished so far.