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Bundesliga

Havertz is the star of Bundesliga's restart

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Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen) résiste au tacle de Dominique Heintz (Fribourg)

Image credit: Getty Images

ByJames Kilpatrick
30/05/2020 at 07:43 | Updated 30/05/2020 at 11:39

With Bundesliga the only elite European football on right now, it is not Erling Haaland but Kai Havertz whose name is on everyone's lips - and so it should be.

  • In-form Havertz scores again to fire Leverkusen past Freiburg
  • 'I don't want to mess it up' - Havertz on transfer speculation

The highly-rated 20-year-old, who has already earnt the moniker 'the crown prince of German football', scored again in Bayer's scrappy 1-0 victory over Freiburg on Friday evening.

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German football's crown jewel now has five goals in four games since the restart and has become the first player to score 35 Bundesliga goals before his 21st birthday.

The lockdown transfer rumour mill is relentlessly churning his name out and it is not hard to see why Europe's elite clubs - including Liverpool, Bayern, Barcelona and Juventus - is linked to the boy from Mariadorf; a small village on the outskirts of Aachen.

Havertz has ten goals and six assists in his last 11 matches, has reached 35 Bundesliga goals quicker than any other player and is displaying another key attribute that will appeal to Europe's elite clubs in his developmental years; versatility.

After breaking into the team as a traditional number ten, Leverkusen's injury problems up top has seen Havertz quickly evolve from a left-footed playmaker into a commanding centre forward.

The Germany international's six goals in five matches as a striker proves he is thriving. He is also the club's current stand-in captain which suggests a wise head on young shoulders.

His performances and rapid development is impressing his own teammates, too.

"He's got great composure and technique, and his decision-making is usually spot on," said fellow forward Kevin Volland who is currently nursing an ankle injury.

I've seen him come right through into the first-team since I joined the club and his development has been incredible. He's quickly become especially important to us.

Former Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich labelled him "the biggest talent I’ve seen since Toni Kroos."

Liverpool have been strongly linked with the hard-working Havertz. Considering the Merseyside club have a compatriot named Jurgen Klopp in charge who embraces tactical and positional flexibility, the Premier League champions-in-waiting may even prefer him over RB Leipzig's Timo Werner should his form continue. If the price is right.

Former Tottenham midfielder and ex-Germany international Steffen Freund believes a Premier League move will happen for Havertz. But the 50-year-old feels Germany's most promising young talent should stay at Die Werkself, where he is contracted until 2022, to continue his developement.

"Leverkusen are on fire at the moment and if you watch [Kai] Havertz, my goodness," he told German TV programme 100% Bundesliga – Football at Nitro.

"Now everyone in the world knows what I have been saying for two years now that he is the most talented player in Germany.

"Bayer Leverkusen is under no pressure because it is a long-term contract. I also know that [ex-Germany forward and World Cup winner] Rudi Voller recommends that to him.

"But then comes the pressure with consultants, large clubs that can also win titles, which is relatively rare with Leverkusen.

"Then it is just too good at some point [to stay at] Leverkusen. But why not another year?"

A fair assessment from Freund with the future of transfer windows also up in the air. Nevertheless, Havertz himself knows he is in demand.

Speaking after Leverkusen's emphatic 3-1 win against Borussia Monchengladbach last Saturday, he told Sky Deutschland: "I do not like to say, of course, that there is a lot of speculation. I'm concentrating on this season and will see what happens afterwards.

I am very grateful to Leverkusen and I don't want to mess it up in any way.

With the Premier League's resumption not until mid-June, the Havertz show is worth turning your TV on for in these quiet weeks.

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