Florian Wirtz (l.) broke Kai Havertz’s (r.) record to become Bayer Leverkusen’s youngest-ever Bundesliga debutant. - © imago images / Poolfoto
Florian Wirtz (l.) broke Kai Havertz’s (r.) record to become Bayer Leverkusen’s youngest-ever Bundesliga debutant. - © imago images / Poolfoto
bundesliga

Florian Wirtz replaces Kai Havertz as Bayer Leverkusen’s youngest ever player

Florian Wirtz made history on Monday by becoming the youngest Bayer Leverkusen player ever to make his debut in the Bundesliga, taking the crown off teammate Kai Havertz.

He was named in the starting line-up for Leverkusen’s clash away to Werder Bremen on Matchday 26, operating in central attacking midfield behind Havertz, who deputised for the injured Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario up front.

In doing so, he ousted Havertz as the club’s all-time youngest player. The Leverkusen No29 made his top-flight bow on Matchday 7 of the 2016/17 campaign – incidentally also against Bremen – at the age of 17 years 126 days.

But Wirtz, who only recently turned 17 on 3 May, has now beaten that record by almost four months at the age of 17 years, 15 days. He also becomes the Bundesliga's third-youngest player ever after Nuri Sahin (for Borussia Dortmund) and Yann Bisseck (for Cologne), who were both 16 years, 11 months at the time of their debuts.

Wirtz only joined Leverkusen during the winter transfer period, arriving from fierce local rivals Cologne.

Having played for the Billy Goats’ U17 side, the attacking midfielder was bumped up to the U19s at Leverkusen and hit the ground running: he registered two goals and three assists in four games in the U19 Bundesliga West prior to the suspension of play due to the coronavirus outbreak, and made quite an impression on first-team head coach Peter Bosz.

“If he’s training with us then he has to be a good player,” the Dutch tactician said ahead of the Bremen game. “I rate him very highly. He’s a very good player, absolutely.”