Meet Chelsea’s New Signing: Kai Havertz
On the 4th of September 2020, Chelsea completed the signing of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz on a £70 million deal (including add-ons). The German committed to a 5-year contract running till 2025.
TOP SOCCER BLOG brings you a brief history of the 21-years-old.
KAI LUKAS HAVERTZ was born on the 11th of June 1999 in Aachen, Germany. When he was just four years old, he joined amateur side Alemannia Mariadorf — where his grandfather was the chairman. He joined his first professional team Alemannia Aachen in 2009, aged 10, but spent just a single year before joining Bundesliga side, Bayer Leverkusen.
In 2016, Havertz scored 18 goals for Leverkusen’s U-17 side. His performances earned him a silver U-17 Fritz Walter Medal (a series of annual awards given by the German Football Association to youth footballers in Germany).
Two years later, he won gold in the U-19 category.
He made his professional debut on the 15th of October 2016 and became the youngest Bundesliga debutant in Leverkusen’s history, aged 17 years and 126 days old. On the 2nd of April 2017, he became the youngest ever goalscorer for the club.
He gradually established himself in the team with his performances and became the youngest player in the history of the Bundesliga to reach 50 appearances on the 14th of April 2018 at the age of 18 years and 307 days — breaking a record that was previously set by his now Chelsea team-mate, Timo Werner.
Havertz ended the 2018/19 season with 17 league goals, thus, becoming the highest scoring teenager in a single Bundesliga season. Although his is not one of the youngest-ever Bundesliga goalscorers, he started making a name for himself at a young age.
On opening day of the 2019/20 season, he became the second-youngest player of all time to score 25 Bundesliga goals when he scored against Paderborn. In December 2019, he became the youngest ever player to make 100 Bundesliga appearance aged just 20 years, 6 months, and 4 days — breaking another record previously held by Werner.
He is also the youngest ever player to captain Bayer Leverkusen.
Although the 2019/20 season was affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Havertz still managed an impressive 18 goals and 9 assists in 45 appearances across all competitions for Leverkusen — a good return for a midfielder, especially at his age.
His consistent performances attracted the attention of the top clubs —who began to monitor his progress. Various top sides were reported to be interested in him, but Chelsea (who showed the most interest in him) eventually secured his services and officially announced his signing on the 4th of September 2020. He signed a 5-year contract with the Blues in a deal worth £70 million and became the second most expensive signing in Chelsea’s history, behind Kepa Arrizabalaga.
In total, he made 150 official senior appearances for Bayer Leverkusen, scored 46 goals, and provided 31 assists.
On the international scene, Havertz passed through the various youth grades for Germany and made his senior national team debut on the 9th of September 2018 against Peru, becoming the first player born in 1999 to represent the Germann national team.
Kai Havertz is technically strong, fit, versatile, fast, and capable of playing with both feet and also good with his head. He likes making dangerous runs into the opposition area and has a knack for scoring goals. Due to his ability and playing style, he has been compared with players like Mesut Ozil, Michael Ballack, Toni Kroos, and Arturo Vidal. I liken him to his new manager at Chelsea, Frank Lampard, who was an excellent goalscoring midfielder during his playing days. He made the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League Squad of Season after reaching the semi-finals with Bayer Leverkusen.
Havertz’s versatility enables him to be able to play in attacking midfield, central midfield, both wings, and as a striker.
He is referred to by the German media as an Alleskönner (an all-rounder).