The transfer of the young, highly rated attacking midfielder from Bayer Leverkusen follows on from the purchase of Timo Werner from another Bundesliga club RB Leipzig, and is in addition to the recruitment of Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva as Frank Lampard’s squad for the forthcoming season takes shape. They have also signed young French defender Malang Sarr who is going out on loan with a view to gaining more experience before he is involved.
Havertz had this to say on becoming a Chelsea player. ‘I am very happy and proud to be here, For me it is a dream come true to play in a big club like Chelsea and I can’t wait to meet all the players and the trainers. Yeah, I am very happy to be here!’
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: ‘Kai is one of the best players of his age in world football, so we are very happy that his future lies at Chelsea. He has proven pedigree in one of the best leagues in Europe, he plays for the German national side and he is an exciting, dynamic talent. We are delighted to be able to add his versatility and quality to the squad before the season begins.’
Havertz has become one of German football’s highest-rated young players following his breakthrough at Bayer Leverkusen, setting a series of records for his achievements, including those for the youngest player to make 50 and 100 Bundesliga appearances, which were both previously held by Timo Werner.
Tall (he is 6ft 2in), fast and technically excellent, the 21-year-old has shown impressive versatility given his age. Predominantly a central attacking midfielder known for his accurate and incisive passing, along with an ability to retain possession in tight spaces and win the ball back in advanced positions, Havertz also played wide on the right earlier in his career, cutting inside onto his favoured left foot.
More recently, he proved himself a capable striker while filling in for that role due to injuries in the second half of 2019/20, and has been dubbed an ‘Alleskonner’ in his homeland – meaning a player who can do everything.
Having received his early education at local lower-league clubs Alemannia Mariadorf and Alemannia Aachen, the former run by his grandfather, Havertz joined Bayer Leverkusen at the age of 11 in 2010 and made a name for himself in their youth set-up, receiving the Silver Fritz Walter Medal in 2016, given to the best Under-17 players in Germany.
He made his senior debut that same year, becoming the club’s youngest Bundesliga debutant, and continued to grow in stature over the course of the 2016/17 season. He made his first Champions League start in that season’s last 16, although he missed the second leg of their defeat to Atletico Madrid because it clashed with his school exams. Before the end of the campaign he had his first goal, in a 3-3 draw with Wolfsburg, making him Leverkusen’s youngest Bundesliga scorer.