Scout Report – Kai Havertz
Liverpool might not have done enough to acquire big name players back in the summer, but manager Jurgen Klopp is reportedly trying to bring in high-profile youngsters of Europe and has already sighted a few of them ahead of the upcoming winter transfer window. If several reports are to be believed, the Reds are keeping close tabs on the progress of Bayer Leverkusen’s prodigy Kai Havertz, who is hailed as one of Germany’s special talents.
Havertz, 18, is making quite a name for himself in the Bundesliga and has already been tracked by top European clubs. So it makes sense to see Reds’ scouts in attendance at the Germany U19s match against Belarus in a UEFA qualifier for the U19 Euro Championship on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old scored 4 on the night (with two penalties involved) while also bagging an assist, as Germany ran out comfortable 5-1 winners at the Arena Zabrze in Poland.
Born on June 11, 1999 in Aachen, Germany, Havertz joined amateur side Alemannia Mariadorf as a 7-year-old kid. However, it was Alemannia Aachen that put the young player under contract. In 2010, Havertz signed for Bayer Leverkusen, joining one of the best youth football academies in Germany.
On October 15, 2016, Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen’s coach back then, gave Havertz his league debut against Werder Bremen. Replacing Chilean Charles Aranguiz, Havertz became the youngest Bundesliga debutant in the history of the club, beating Levin Oztunali‘s previous record. He was also awarded the silver U-17 Fritz Walter Medal.
In the following weeks, the midfielder became the youngest Bayer Leverkusen player to have started in Bundesliga and in the Champions League.
Having made his debut in Leverkusen’s senior team last season, the Aanchen-born midfielder went on to make 28 appearances, showing he is capable of playing in Germany’s first division. The 18-year-old scored 4 goals and assisted a further 6, becoming the Bundesliga outfit’s youngest ever goalscorer.
Havertz also got three Champions League games under his belt, although he famously missed the second leg of the last 16 game with Atletico Madrid because it clashed with his Geography exam.
What Does He Offer?
Havertz burst onto the scene last season and became one of Leverkusen’s shining lights in an otherwise gloomy season, as the club finished 12th. The versatile midfielder, capable of playing on either flank, has already drawn comparisons to compatriot Mesut Ozil. He primarily operates as a central midfielder and can also play behind the striker because of his attacking traits.
The 18-year-old is a technically gifted player, with the No. 10 role being tailor-made for him. Being 1.86 metres tall, Havertz has the ability to overpower opponents and is a handy customer when it comes to defending, as well as attacking set-pieces.
The midfielder can deliver the ball well with both his feet but it’s his burst of pace to beat a man which can threaten the opposition. Havertz lacks experience but given that he’s only 18, his awareness is scary. The lanky midfielder has the tendency to get into dangerous positions, use pockets of space and creative vision to set up goals.
What Does The Future Hold?
After his brilliant debut campaign with Leverkusen, Havertz has featured 4 times in the Bundesliga and once in the German Cup this season, although he is yet to score. Although he is valued at only €8m in the market, it is unlikely that Leverkusen will sell one of their hottest prospects for such a low fee.
Due to his nationality and former coaching stints, Klopp is a keen admirer of the Bundesliga and there is no better coach than him in the Premier League when it comes to scouting German talents. Since Liverpool need to add depth to their squad, he should certainly go for the highly-rated Kai Havertz.
Havertz has a long way to go before he can become good enough to play in the Champions League for Europe’s elite. For now, the gifted midfielder must stay put in Germany and keep polishing his abilities.