“Kai Havertz seems like a veteran” - Joachim Löw
Kai Havertz has received glowing praise from Germany coach Joachim Löw, with Bayer Leverkusen’s 17-goal midfielder pushing to start against Belarus in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday.
Havertz, 19, has already racked up 88 Bundesliga appearances with Die Werkself but he underlined his promise in 2018/19 with a career-best 17 goals and three assists from midfield, helping his club qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
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The left-footer – who is equally comfortable playing in central midfield or wide of a front three – made his debut in the 2-1 friendly win over Peru last September, and now has an assist to boast from his three senior international appearances.
While Havertz has the likes of Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus and repurposed Bayern Munich right-back-cum-midfielder Joshua Kimmich competing with him for a starting berth, Löw is convinced the Leverkusen man already has what it takes to contribute to the four-time world champions’ cause.
“To play such a season at 19 and score 17 goals is exceptional,” the Mannschaft coach enthused to German sports daily Kicker. “With Kai Havertz I asked myself after the first time he trained with us whether he could’ve already been with us for a year or two. It seemed as if he’d always played with the others. I’ve seen that very, very rarely with a player before.”
Germany kicked off their qualification campaign with a 3-2 win over the Netherlands in March. Havertz did not feature that day, but given the way he ended the season, a second senior international start would appear to be in the offing.
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