Rangers are set to play Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League last 16 and as a result will welcome German football’s latest phenomenon, Kai Havertz, to Ibrox.
The talented 20-year-old midfield playmaker is apparently very much worth the hype which has seen him linked with £100m moves to the likes of Liverpool, Man United and Bayern Munich [Daily Mail].
But what can we expect to see from the in-demand German international currently lighting up the Bundesliga?
The 6ft2 midfielder is the latest in a long line of internationally talented footballers emerging onto the European stage at Leverkusen.
The likes of Michael Ballack and Toni Kroos are homegrown talents which grew out of the BayArena, whilst players like Arturo Vidal, Dimitar Berbatov and Son Heung-Min also made their name at the club.
It’s looking increasingly unlikely that Havertz could move on in the summer and he is widely regarded as one of the best young midfielders in the game.
“I am glad that we still held [on to Kai Havertz] this year,’ said Leverkusen chief and former Germany striker Rudi Voller [100% Bundesliga].
“We’ll see how it looks in summer. He still has a contract until 2022 – these are, of course, the classic facts.
“There was already interest in the summer, but we told him that it would be good for him to stay with us for another year. And that was the right decision.”
Officially the youngest player in Bundesliga history to reach 100 games, Havertz broke through into the Leverkusen team as a 17-year-old.
Over the course of the last three seasons, the talented playmaker has established himself as one of the free-scoring Bundesliga side’s key assets.
Havertz has made 135 appearances in total for Leverkusen, already scoring 36 goals and laying on a further 27 assists [Transfermarkt].
A truly two-footed midfielder, Havertz is a technically gifted player who can also dig in and do the hard yards in the middle of the pitch.
It’s helped mould him into the German ‘Alleskönner‘, which is a rare breed of player who is capable of doing everything in midfield as a 6, 8, or 10.
Drawing a comparison from the Rangers side would more than likely see you comparing Havertz with Ianis Hagi, who is similar age, similar style but who hasn’t had the same stability as Kai.
Leverkusen captain Lars Bender said he has “never seen such a complete player at his age,” whilst sporting director Rudi Völler has discussed his “exceptional abilities”, saying “he is already blessed with a footballing maturity that sets him apart from other players his age” [Bundesliga].
This was two years ago.
It’s not just at club level Havertz abilities are being recognised either – the midfielder has already had seven Germany caps and scored once for his country.
This season Havertz has hit five goals and assisted eight in 30 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen.
The talented playmaker is the man to stop if Rangers are to pull off a Europa League upset against the talented German outfit.