The attacking midfielder signed a five-year contract with the Blues, in the footsteps of Timo Werner (£ 9.5million) to move to West London from the Bundesliga.
Arguably the club’s biggest statement since signing Eden Hazard from Lille, the German has been valued at £ 8.5million – in a range similar to that of Christian Pulisic (£ 8.5m) and Hakim Ziyech (£ 8.0million) – by Fantasy Premier League and has the potential to be a real bargain.
Anyone who got into the Fantasy Bundesliga this summer would have been excited by what they saw – including some ‘out of position’ starting points – so we’ll be assessing his FPL credentials in the article below.
History and statistics
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Born in Aachen, Germany, in June 1999, Havertz started in amateur football at just four years old for Alemannia Mariadorf where his grandfather, Richard, was club president. His father was a police officer and his mother a lawyer, so discipline was imposed on him from an early age.
It was his grandfather who encouraged him in his youth, spending time with the youngster slaughtering gnomes in the garden with his left foot. Richard’s death when Havertz was just 10 years old led the German to join his first professional club, Alemannia Aachen.
He only spent a year with his hometown club, with a hat-trick against Bayer Leverkusen in an 8-3 loss that impressed them enough to sign the youngster. He was in high demand with clubs across the country, including Borussia Monchengladbach and Koln, but Leverkusen went all out to sign the exciting prospect.
He scored seven goals and two assists in 23 appearances in his first season in the U17-Bundesliga West, but the following season was where he really shone.
After scoring 18 goals, he received the silver medal Fritz Walter in the 2015/16 season after being named second best German Under-17 player; two years later he won the gold medal in the under 19 category.
In October 2016, at 17 years and 126 days old, he became the youngest debutant in Bayer Leverkusen history and later became their youngest goalscorer with a strike against Wolfsburg in April.
He became the youngest Bundesliga player to make 50 appearances. Coincidentally, the former record holder was his new Chelsea teammate Timo Werner. Havertz was also Leverkusen’s youngest captain.
After seven goals and 13 assists in his first two seasons, 2018/19 saw him become a household name in Germany with 17 midfield goals, becoming the first teenager to reach that total in a season of Bundesliga.
Nine of Havertz’s 17 goals gave Leverkusen a 1-0 lead and no Bundesliga player has opened the scoring more frequently this season. Manager Peter Bosz’s offensive philosophy has given him a platform to thrive and he has featured in every game of this campaign.
He took three penalties that season, posting an xG of 13.1 and an xG without penalty of 10.9; this would indicate that he is a good finisher.
“I guess reading the game has always been one of my strengths. A certain composure on the ball and the ability to make the right choices quickly. – Kai Havertz
Havertz started the 2019/20 season by becoming the second youngest player in Bundesliga history to score 25 goals with a strike against Paderborn on Matchday 1. He went on to score 12 goals and six assists this campaign with an xG of 9.1. Only one of them was a penalty, which meant his xG without penalty was 8.3. Again, he outperformed his xG significantly and even increased his xA to 6.2.
In his last three seasons, his xG + xA for 90 no-penalty numbers has grown every year and he’s averaging an expected goal implication in every other game during that time.
“If you can still be a step or two ahead of your opponent, you can already win the game, and I think he’s just the player he is. – Leon Bailey, Havertz teammate.
Comparison with other Chelsea assets
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Unlike Ziyech, Havertz isn’t a volume shooter who takes a lot of speculative shots from outside the box: his minutes / shot are the lowest in comparison.
However, a large percentage of the youngster’s efforts are on target (43%), compared to the Moroccan (34.8%). In fact, his goals per shot (0.19) are almost triple that of Ziyech (0.07).
What’s even more impressive is that Havertz scores with almost half of his shots on target (44%) while Ziyech is closer to 20%. He even beats Werner, who has 0.18 goals / shot and 0.38 goals / shot on target.
In terms of creativity, only Ziyech (20.8) created chances more frequently than Havertz (41) last season.
Havertz spent most of the 2019/20 season deployed as a no. 10, also on the right flank and sometimes in the center-front. Given that Ziyech’s preferred position is on the right wing and Pulisic has been effective on the left, Lampard is expected to use the German behind his compatriot Werner.
Werner is a very different striker from Olivier Giroud (£ 7.0m) and Tammy Abraham (£ 7.5million). As we saw briefly during the Brighton friendly, he works a lot more off the ball, similar to Roberto Firmino (£ 9.5million).
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£ 6.0million), which was playing like a no. 10, found himself in the box very often as a result of the German’s binding play and the 4-3-3 that Lampard prefers turned into 4-2-2-2 in transition. Considering Havertz’s goal instinct, the outlook is rosy to say the least.
Chelsea were second behind Manchester City in expected goals last season, so creating chances was no problem and by adding an icy finisher like Havertz to their ranks the Blues’ goal production is set to increase significantly this season.
Havertz having had zero minutes with Chelsea in the preseason due to international involvement with Germany, Lampard may be unlikely to immediately throw him into the fray against Brighton, with a cameo appearance very likely . His minutes should improve over the weeks and he settles, however.
In terms of injury, he has a good overall fitness record with only the muscle tear he suffered in November 2019 causing him to miss more than 15 days due to an injury. He has been unavailable for just six games in the past three seasons due to injury or illness.
Statistics from Opta, fbref.com and Whoscored.com
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