Kai Havertz: Rising Through the Ranks

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Born 11 June 1999, Kai Lukas Havertz is a German professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or a right winger for Premier League side Chelsea.

 

Havertz upon making his debut for Bayern Leverkusen became the club’s youngest ever debutant in the Bundesliga and also became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer when he scored his first goal the following year.

Early Life And Youth Career 

Kai was born in Aachen, Germany and had his first footballing experience at the age of four years at Alemannia Mariadorf, where his grandfather Richard was the Chairman of the club.

He was signed by second division side Alemannia Aachen in 2009 where he spent just a year at their academy before joining Bayern Leverkusen at the age of 11.

Havertz like all the youth endured the process and challenges of growth in their  career and after scoring 18 goals in 2016, he was awarded the U-17 Fritz Walter Medal before breaking into Leverkusen senior team the following year.

Bayern Leverkusen 

Havertz made his debut for Bayern Leverkusen in October 2015 coming on as a substitute in the second half for Charles Aranguiz where they lost 2-1 to Werder Bremen.

Kai on his debut became the club’s youngest ever player to feature in the Bundesliga at 17 years 126 days old although his record was broken by Florian Wirtz in 2020.

He also assisted teammate Karim Bellarabi to score the 50,0000th  Bundesliga goal on February 17, 2017. Kai made his Champions League debut four days layer3 following the suspension of Hakan Çalhanoğlu in the first leg of the round of 16 against Atletico Madrid.

Against Wolfsburg on April 2, Havertz scored an equalizer in a 3-3 draw making him the youngest Leverkusen player to score in the Bundesliga.

He then became the youngest ever player to reach 50  Bundesliga appearances at the age of 18 years 307 days on April 14, 2018 breaking the record of Timo Werner. He scored his first two goals in an European competition against Ludogorets on 20 September 2018.

Havertz was runner up to Marco Reus for the German footballer of the year in 2018 after a super season scoring 17 Bundesliga goals and becoming the youngest highest scoring teenager in the league.

He made 150 appearances for Bayern Leverkusen scoring 46 goals in total.

Chelsea

On 4th September 2020, Havertz signed a-five-year contract with Premier League side Chelsea. His transfer fees was reported to be worth £72m rising up to £89m in add ons. Havertz becomes the most expensive German player of all time and Chelsea’s most expensive after they signed Kepa Arrizabalaga for £72m.

International Career

Havertz appeared for the first time for the German U-16 side on 11 November 2014 in a game against Czech Republic which they won 3-1. He was substituted in the 57th minute and was replaced by Tom Baack.

He was aslo included in the squad for the 2016 UEFA U-17 European Championship in Azerbaijan. He played in all five of Germany’s games in that tournament scoring once before Germany were eliminated by Spain in the semifinal.

He also featured for the German U-19 squad making his debut on August 31, 2017.  On October 4, 2017, in his third appearance for the U-19 team, Havertz scored four goals in their 5-1 win over Belarus in the European U-19 Championship qualifiers and was named captain of the team.

On 29 August, 2019, Joachim Löw named Havertz in the German senior national team, his first ever call-up to the senior side. He was included in the squad against France in the 2019 Nations League and also played in a friendly against Peru.

He made his first appearance in a friendly against Peru coming on as a substitute in the 88th minute to replace Timo Werner on 9 September, 2019. He became the first player born in 1999 to play for the German senior side.

Honours

▪︎Fritz Walter Medal: U17 Silver -2016

▪︎Fritz Walter Medal: U19 Gold -2018

▪︎Bundesliga Team of the Tear -2018/2019

▪︎Bundesliga Player of the Month April 2019, May 2019, May 2020.

▪︎UEFA Champions League Breakthrough XI -2019

▪︎UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season -2019/20

 

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