Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz collected two assists on his day of history-making against Eintracht Frankfurt. - © © imago
Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz collected two assists on his day of history-making against Eintracht Frankfurt. - © © imago

Kai Havertz: Bayer Leverkusen's history-maker and MD30's Man of the Matchday


With that deadly, determined in-game gaze, the previously affable, almost timid teenager Kai Havertz is immediately transformed.

As a 17-year-old, the Aachen-born boy became Bayer Leverkusen's youngest top-flight player and goalscorer, appeared in 24 Bundesliga games and made his UEFA Champions League debut for Die Werkself at Wembley.

Now, in a league notorious for the array of young talent gracing its pitches, Havertz is about to become the youngest player in Bundesliga history to make 50 appearances. On Saturday, against Eintracht Frankfurt, he can reach the mark at 18 years and 307 days old.

Pundits and professionals alike see a star in the making, but Havertz is keeping his steely stare on the step-by-step process that is certain to lead to success.

Watch: Kai Havertz has the Bundesliga at his talented feet!

"Quite a lot has happened to me that you start to think and ask yourself, is this really happening?" the recently turned 18-year-old said.

In his first season in the first-team, Havertz scored four goals and claimed six assists in 24 outings. These performances led to him signing professional terms at the club he originally joined as an 11-year-old.

Rapidly developing a reputation for his astonishing technique, flawless ability using both feet, superb reading of the game, strength in the air and overall confidence, excitement abounds as to what the coming campaign holds for Leverkusen's wily wunderkind.

"Kai has exceptional abilities and is already blessed with a footballing maturity that sets him apart from other players of his age," Leverkusen's sporting director Rudi Völler said of the former Germany Under-16 and U-17 star.

"I've never seen such a complete player at the age of 17," club captain Lars Bender added.

This season he has already made the same number of appearances, and has surpassed his assist total from last season with seven, as well as notching three goals. His incredible goal against RB Leipzig on Matchday 29 is arguably he highlight of the season, as he found space on a Leverkusen counter-attack and after being found by Leon Bailey, buried a left-footed volley beyond Peter Gulacsi.

Watch: Havertz's superb goal against RB Leipzig!

"He's very intelligent, he reads the game well and plays the right passes," veteran Leverkusen striker Stefan Kießling said. "He's technically gifted, growing physically and improving all the time, despite the added stress of his [school] exams this year," Kießling continued.  

"It's been a fantastic experience," Havertz said of his journey from registering 19 goals in Bayer's youth team to performing in front of packed Bundesliga crowds on a weekly basis. "It's not easy to get everything right, but I've had great support here. During training I see how much potential I still have to realise."

It’s not often that a teenager is already a fully-established first-team regular; at least not outside of the Bundesliga. In the league built on giving young talent chances, Havertz is currently leading the way as the youngest of the new stars. A name you should already know, and certainly won’t forget.

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