The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder is not merely keeping pace with England wonderkid Jadon Sancho since the most desirable Bundesliga player for Premier League clubs, but the 20-year-old could also potentially steal the limelight away from the prior Manchester City youngster.
And that’s no easy feat. English players are usually overhyped and wonderkids are often crushed underneath the weight of expectation — but not before being pushed to the stars by the press. Sancho’s performances for Borussia Dortmund justify the hype and then some.
Yet despite his exploits, people keep talking about Havertz and clubs continue to be linked. Clubs who have previously been tipped as a potential destination for the BVB No.7.
B04 realise it’s a matter of when and not if they lose their precious asset and they’ve taken a proactive approach to this by slapping a $100million price tag on him.
Previously, such a fee would put off potential buyers. However, times are changing and £91million for a 20-year-old midfielder with 22 goals since the start of last season seems like great value for money.
Havertz has everything required to be unique in today’s game. Launched in an attacking three, there is also a house for him as a number eight, similar to the way Pep Guardiola uses Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva. If he is to fulfil his potential, however, he’s going to have to his next move right.
Bearing this in mind, we’ve analysed which club would be the best match for the Germany international.
It’s easy to understand why he would be on the Reds’ radar. Michael Edwards enjoys a multifunctional player and, despite his youth, he’s got a large set of information to dive into.
During the 2018/19 campaign, Havertz drifted between playing in a midfield three and as part of an attacking trio. Impressively, his output did not drop off with all the positional changes. He scored 20 in all competitions with 17 of those coming in the Bundesliga.
His playing profile lends itself to him perhaps playing as a false-nine. There’d need to be some refinement to his game but it’s a possibility. Like Roberto Firmino, Havertz is not averse to doing the dirty work in midfield. Last season, the German averaged three possessions regain at the middle third. It’d be a long-lasting job for Klopp but it could be worthwhile as there is no quick fix when seeking to replace the Liverpool No.9.
The more natural fit for him at Anfield would be as a midfielder and the Reds do have to freshen that area of the pitch up earlier rather than later. Havertz would definitely get opportunities.
The notion of Havertz in a Guardiola team is an enjoyable one. He’s precisely the sort of player the Catalan coach could mould into among the very best in the world in his place.
But where would he play?
City are not short of choices anywhere unless they feel they need a replacement for David Silva. Leroy Sané could be on his way out but Havertz is not a like-for-like replacement for his compatriot, and the Premier League winners often rely on their No.19’s directness in certain situations.
Moving away from this profile in that area of the pitch wouldn’t be the smartest of choices and it could create Guardiola’s side simpler — though still fairly difficult — to shield against.
On the surface, there might be very little logic to adding Havertz into the City squad. However, Guardiola always has a program. If he’s a genuine target then he will have a part in mind for the left-footed, versatile attacker.
The United boss is not yet settled on a system but the new pairing in assault appears to be working well.
Anthony Martial has been set up as a centre-forward with Marcus Rashford on the left. The set then swaps during attacking situations and it works really nicely. However, with both looking to stretch the resistance in central areas, he kind of nullifies what Havertz is great at.
He picks up pockets of space, makes runs in behind and generally looks to enter the penalty area whenever possible. The trio could clash as their end goal is to get into positions that are similar.
Having said that, one could tweak their game to accommodate others. But it’s carefully balanced life and adding in a new factor could knock it off entirely.
Mason Mount is not as great as Havertz, let us get that clear. Nevertheless, it’s clear Frank Lampard rates the Chelsea kid highly. It is highly improbable, therefore, the club will spend close to £100million on a player that would limit the 20-year-old’s development.
It would also be a big ask for Lampard to simultaneously develop Mount, Havertz and Christian Pulisic while keeping Chelsea competitive. The move just would not make sense for the Blues right now.
The Gunners are loaded in attack but as showed this summer this will not stop them from further strengthening that area. With Dani Ceballos only calling Emirates house on a temporary basis and Mesut Özil not really a part of Unai Emery’s plans, there could be a place in the squad for an attacking midfielder next summer.
In practice, however, it may not.
Moreover, there are questions surrounding whether or not Arsenal could manage another huge splurge on assaulting reinforcements. They’ve already spent in excess of 150million on Pépé, Aubameyang, and Lacazette, and Emery does not always play all of them. Spending another £90million on a single player doesn’t seem like the most sensible of moves.