Kai Havertz was born on 11th June, 1999 in Aachen, Germany. He represented his local side, Alemannia Aachen, between 2009 and 2010, having earlier played for Alemannia Mariadorf. He was associated with Bayer Leverkusen from 2010, signing for them professionally in 2016. He was a huge hit with Leverkusen, and his performances for them – and indeed the German national team – as well as his abundant and obvious talent, were enough to convince Chelsea to swoop for him in 2020.
We will look in a little more detail at Havertz, including his style of play, career highlights and potential. But before that, let’s take a closer look at the deal that brought him to west London.
Havertz to Chelsea Transfer Fee
The surprisingly tall attacking midfield maestro moved to Chelsea on 4th September, 2020, aged just 21 years old. As with most transfer deals these days, the precise numbers of the transaction are reported differently in various sources. However, considering the available evidence and the authority of the many outlets we have considered, we believe the fee to be between £71m and £85m, including all add-ons.
Reporting of the transfer see figures ranging from £90m, to €80m, down to £60m, with others saying “around £70m” or “approximately £71m”. All of these figures are broadly in the same ballpark but the fact that this was a transfer that involved a fair amount in possible add-ons, may largely explain the discrepancies. For the record, that €80m figure is around £69m at current exchange rates (December 2022) and was very close to £71m at the time of the deal. Some sources did report that the €80m figure was subject to a further €20m (potentially) in add-ons but on balance we feel the total figure is likely to be lower than that.
Other Key Points of the Transfer
Aside from the fee, the other key thing to note about the deal that brought the German ace to the Bridge is that it was a five-year contract. That is a fairly standard sort of deal for a young player signed for such a substantial fee. Frank Lampard was the man responsible for the signing in what was a summer of extravagant spending by Chelsea, Havertz being the club’s seventh signing. Chelsea director, Marina Granovskaia, noted that their new player was “one of the best players of his age in world football …” and “an exciting, dynamic talent.” She also added that they were “delighted to be able to add his versatility and quality to the squad before the season begins.”
In terms of the value of the add-ons and how they would be triggered, there is even less transparency than there is with the overall transfer fee. It is believed that half of the value of the add-ons – possibly as much as £9m but very possibly less – was triggered simply by the west London side qualifying for the Champions League on a regular (but undefined) basis. The other half of the extra cash would be paid based on the club winning silverware during the duration of Havertz’s contract, with different sums triggered by the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup.
Style of Play
Haverts was described in German football as an “Alleskonner”, meaning a player capable of doing it all. He is primarily an attacking midfielder/forward who prefers to play centrally but has been used in almost all of the attacking positions by Chelsea. He can play anywhere in a front three, or anywhere in the three behind a central striker and generally likes to float, sometimes playing as a false nine.
He prefers to play on the right side but can also play on the left and is largely two-footed, though favours the left. The fact that describing his play is so hard is testimony to his versatility and all-round attacking skills but also, perhaps, to the fact that he is yet to really, fully nail down a position. His intelligence, vision, eye for a pass, finishing ability, movement and touch are all superb though, so it may well be he remains a highly flexible player throughout his career.
Career Highlights, Honours & International Recognition
Signing for a club of Chelsea’s stature for a huge (if rather disputed) fee, at the age of just 21, was massive for Havertz but even before coming to London he had enjoyed quite the career for one so young. He had already made his full international debut and even scored for Germany, his first goal coming against Argentina no less.
For his former club, Bayer Leverkusen, he had become the youngest player to make both 50 and 100 Bundesliga appearances, the former record since broken but the latter standing for now. In total, he played 150 times for the club in all competitions, scoring 46 goals and racking up excellent tallies of assists and chances created.
He was a runner-up in the German Cup with Bayer in 2018/19 and was also named in the division’s Team of the Season that year. In 2019, he was named in the Champions League Breakthrough XI, whilst in 2019/20 he made the Europa League Squad of the Season.
His move to the Blues was hugely successful in terms of what it helped him achieve at an incredibly young age and already he boasts a Champions League title, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and runner-up medals for the FA Cup (twice) and EFL Cup. He’ll be hoping to upgrade those silvers for golds before long too! His big-game temperament is also not in doubt given he scored the winning goals in both the Champions League and Club World Cup finals.
At the time of writing, he has played 33 times for the full national side, registering 12 goals. His most recent strikes for Germany include a brace against England in the Nations League and another double at the 2022 World Cup. His future is clearly very bright and in the years to come we expect to see the £60m, £70m, £80m or possibly even £90m transfer fee Chelsea paid to begin to look more and more like a bargain.