By 90Min
March 27, 2019

There's a media storm surrounding Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz following the revelations that Bayern Munich are looking to sign him in a €75m deal this summer.

But little is really known about the 19-year-old playmaker for fans outside of the Bundesliga, other than throw away comparisons with Arsenal midfield Mesut Özil.

Here's a closer look at some of the things which have Havertz pinned up as Germany's next big thing, as well as if being dubbed as Özil's natural successor is warranted or just a lazy attempt at hyping the teenage midfielder.


Scoring Goals

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Modern midfielders have had the pressure of scoring goals lifted off their shoulders as football's adapted over the years as the game has become a lot more technical, centred around passing and build up play.

But Havertz is a young player looking to buck that trend, showing this season that he's just as important in the final third as Bayer Leverkusen striker Kevin Volland or wingers Karim Bellarabi and Leon Bailey.

The 19-year-old is second in the club's scoring charts this season having notched 10 goals in the Bundesliga, sitting behind only Gylfi Sigurdsson and Paul Pogba as one of the top goalscoring central midfielders in Europe's top five leagues.


Off the Ball Movement

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Havertz's composure in the penalty area is certainly a huge factor in his return in front of goal, but it's the teenager's simple movement - which is somewhat revolutionary in modern football - which creates his best chances in the final third.

While a lot of players emphasise making diagonal runs or drawing defenders out of position to create their openings, Havertz get his chances by running straight through the opposition lines.

After feeding the ball into wide areas, Havertz charges through the middle of the pitch and looks to find space in between the opposition centre-backs just in time for a ball across the six-yard box for a simple tap in.


Two Footed

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He might not get the same recognition as Arjen Robben or Robin van Persie, but there's little doubt that Havertz has a wand of a left foot.

But the Germany international has also shown this season that he is just as capable with his right when he has to be, scoring an outstanding match-winning effort against Ludogorets earlier this season in the Europa League group stages.


While that strike in Bulgaria was just his second ever goal with his right foot, Havertz showed that opposition players can't take a 'show him onto his right at all costs' approach to defending the teenager.


Killer Passes

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For all of his ability in front of goal, it is no surprise that Havertz's quick rise to stardom came as a result of his ability as an out and out playmaker.

The 19-year-old has shown time and time again that he has all the attributes to succeed as a number 10, boasting very impressive vision and outstanding link-up play which is vital at the highest level of the game.

While Havertz has retained all of his playmaking qualities this season, being deployed slightly deeper under new manager Peter Bosz - or even out on the right wing - has helped him bring even more qualities to his natural position just behind the striker.


Height

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Being an aerial threat isn't what anyone really thinks about when looking back on the best playmakers ever, and while Havertz certainly isn't dominating when the ball is in the air, at 6' 1'' he gives defenders an extra problem to think about when balls are floated into the box.

Three of Havertz's 21 career goals have been scored with his head, with two coming this season and proving to be decisive in wins against Mainz and Hannover.


Dribbling

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Unsurprisingly, Havertz is well known for his ability to wriggle past defenders whilst in possession, a trademark among modern playmakers.

The 19-year-old has completed 41 dribbles in his 32 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen this season, something which is only bettered by Leon Bailey for Die Werkself.

Havertz boasts very impressive close control and can find his way past defenders with either foot, while his height and strength gives him an extra edge compared to other players in his position across Europe.


The Next Mesut Özil?

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He's left-footed, plays in behind the striker and is a Germany international - comparisons with Mesut Özil were always going to be inevitable, especially given how modern football fandom demands players to be dubbed 'the next (insert generic player name here)'.

But Bayer Leverkusen's wonderkid is already shaking off comparisons with the former Real Madrid star as he's quickly establishing himself as an entirely new type of player.

Technically there are similarities between the two, but Havertz brings a physical presence, an engine and an ability in front of goal which has alluded Özil throughout his career at the top.

If Havertz can ever reach the same heights as Germany's World Cup-winning playmaker is yet to be seen, but the teenager has already laid the foundations to have a long and prosperous career at the highest level of the sport.

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