Matthias Sammer hails Bayer Leverkusen's "world-class" Kai Havertz
Bundesliga legend and former Borussia Dortmund defender Matthias Sammer has joined the chorus of praise for Bayer Leverkusen youngster Kai Havertz, calling the 19-year-old "world class".
Sammer, who recently returned to Dortmund as a consultant following a hugely successful spell as sporting director at Bayern Munich, was speaking as a pundit on Eurosport after Leverkusen's 1-1 draw with Nuremberg on Monday, a game in which Havertz scored the opening goal with a clever chip at the back post.
Watch: See Havertz's goal for yourself in the match highlights
"It was world-class," said the 51-year-old of the strike, which was all the more impressive given that the rain-soaked pitch made for trying playing conditions. "He's an extraordinary player. Anyone who can recognise situations like that is something special – and he's something special."
Havertz, who has become a full Germany international this season thanks to his consistently top-class performances, was characteristically down-to-earth when asked about his goal: "It was the only opportunity there was because the Nuremberg goalkeeper and centre-back were blocking the left side of the goal. I saw that the other side was free so that's where I put the ball."
The goal was his fourth in the Bundesliga so far in 2018/19, meaning he has already equalled his personal single-season best from 2016/17, and giving him more than he managed in the entirety of last term.
"Before this season started I'd made up my mind to be more dangerous in front of goal," he told bundesliga.com by way of an explanation for his increasing threat in the final third. "That's what's been missing in my game. Of course I always try to score or provide an assist. But that's not so important. I'm always happy to be involved in the goals."