Former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Renato Augusto says Kai Havertz is already one of the top players in the Bundesliga, and has what it takes to become one of the world's best footballers.
Havertz has had a direct hand in more goals than any other German player in the Bundesliga this calendar year with six goals and five assists. His strike in the 4-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 25 took him past Klaus Fischer as the youngest player to reach 30 Bundesliga goals, aged 20 years and 270 days old, adding to a raft of career milestones accrued since becoming Leverkusen's youngest debutant at 17 in October 2016.
Augusto - who made 101 Bundesliga appearances for Leverkusen between 2008 and 2012, before moving to China's BJ Guoan via a stint back in his native Brazil - has tipped the seven-time Germany international to reach even greater heights in the years ahead.
"I really like what I’ve seen of him," the 32-year-old Brazilian midfielder told Leverkusen's official website. "He has real quality, great technique and can finish.
"I think he can be one of the best players in the world in a few years - he’s definitely one of the best players in the Bundesliga."
Augusto is not the first to praise Havertz to the skies. Current Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz recently described his talisman as "the full package", while Germany legend Lothar Matthäus has said more than once that he would not be surprised if the Aachen-born super talent follows in his footsteps by being officially recognised as the best player in the world.
"He has set the bar very high – for me he was the player of the season," Matthäus told kicker magazine, after Havertz became the first teenager in Bundesliga history to reach 17 goals in a single campaign in 2018/19.
"If Havertz can maintain this high standard, with his natural talent, cleverness, presence on the pitch, and goal threat, then he could someday follow me as world footballer of the year."
Watch: Kai Havertz - Bayer Leverkusen's best?
Havertz, who is enjoying his fourth full season of Bundesliga football, became the youngest player in Bundesliga history to reach 100 appearances earlier this term. He has registered 38 goals and 30 assists in all competitions, including 10 and eight respectively in 34 first-team outings prior to the Coronavirus-enforced hiatus.
His Leverkusen side are fifth in the current Bundesliga standings - only two points adrift of fourth - through to the DFB Cup semi-finals and hold a 3-1 advantage at the halfway point in their UEFA Europa League last-16 tie with Rangers.