Kai Havertz has been closely linked with a transfer to Chelsea, with many sources reporting the deal is now done. Tapas Iyer (@IyerTapas) has compiled a statistical analysis on the player that might change a few opinions on his potential to play for the Blues.
Bayern may have won the treble in the 2019/20 season, including the Bundesliga and the Champions League, and scored 100 goals in the league. However, none of the Bayern Munich players stood out like a certain 21 year old from Bayer Leverkusen.
Kai Havertz has been drawing attention and turning heads of not just spectators, but major clubs from around Europe. At just 21 years of age, the German has scored 12 league goals and provided 6 assists in the 2019/20 season.
Speaking about Havertz, Bayern Munich legend Owen Hargreaves said, “All eyes are on Haaland and Sancho but Kai Havertz is the one from a German perspective. He is special and he is like a hybrid of Michael Ballack and Mesut Özil. That says a lot in terms of his goals and elegance.”
Chelsea have been leading the race to sign Havertz in this transfer window, not just because of Lampard’s ability to influence a generation of young players to believe in his vision, but also because Havertz sees himself as a Blue. When a players himself harbours a desire to play for club, nothing could change his mind. It has to be written in the stars. This desire will also bring the best out of Havertz’s performance.
With Chelsea on the verge of signing Havertz and the announcement to be made any minute now, it would be interesting to see where Havertz would stand as a premier league player if we take his last season’s number into account.
Havertz is an attacking midfielder who plays either centrally or on the right, just inside the RW. So, the stat for progressive passes (balls going forward) and the progressive distance (distance travelled by ball forwards) is not as good as De Bruyne. This is mainly down to the fact that De Bruyne is a central midfielder whose primary job is to feed the ball forward where as Havertz is more of a creative force in attack.
Despite not being the central midfielder feeding balls forward, his assists and expected goal assists are almost as good as some of the Premier League players playing in similar positions. Working with Lampard will give Havertz a huge boost to become better at this.
Taking about key passes provided, De Bruyne again wins the contest by miles due to his position. But Havertz is eight on the list, just behind fellow Chelsea player Mason Mount. It should be noted that Havertz is the youngest player along with Mason Mount in the top 10 of this list.
Players in the regista position or in the central midfield position dominate the stat for passes into the final third. As the attacking front is always pressing up front, it is not surprising to see that Havertz is at the lower end of the spectrum along with other attacking players. They are more on the receiving side than the one making the pass.
Passes & crosses aren’t why Lampard was interested in Havertz in the first place. A quick glance at the scatter for his passes and crosses reveal that this could be a major area that he would try to strengthen.
When it comes to through balls per 90 minutes, there are very few in the current crop of Premier League players who would boast numbers better than Havertz, and even fewer of these are attacking midfielders or wingers. This could be leveraged by Lampard to link up with Werner up front.
Only 9 midfielders from the Premier League’s previous season had better dribbling rate that led to shot attempts per 90. These are impressive numbers for someone who celebrated his 21st birthday just a couple of months back. These numbers are only going to go higher at Stamford Bridge.
If there is one reason why Lampard has brought another German to West London, it is explained by his shot creation plot. Only 2 Premier League midfielders have had better goal creating actions per 90 and only 3 are above Havertz when it comes to shot creating actions. In the coming months, these numbers would get better and Havertz would turn out to be the best in this area.
In a statistic that is dominated by deep lying midfielders, Kai Havertz ranks impressively high on the list. Kai Havertz’s pass completion success rate is very high if compared with his attacking peers in the league. Combine this with his shot creating ability shown above, you would have a lethal player.
If you study Lampard’s previous signings, you would notice a pattern. He loves players with the ability to make passes under pressure. Ben Chilwell has that ability (see here) and now Havertz is showing promising signs already with numbers that are bettered by only 3 others, one of whom is already a Chelsea player. With the intense and physical nature of the English league, working under pressure is an asset.
When it comes to touches on the ball, Havertz has an uncanny ability to work the ball around. He would be the best in the league when it comes to touches in the mid third and still manage to make it into top six for touches in the final third.
Havertz has been often compared to Ballack for his shots from outside the box and a quick look at the numbers reveal that only Son and Jota have better shots on target per 90 than Havertz. With his accuracy improving with age, his shots on target numbers will soon be the best in the league. The total shots taken per 90 is not far off the top with De Bruyne only slightly better than Havertz.
The goals resulting from shots per 90 are world class for Havertz. He is slightly bettered by Henderson but working with Lampard’s staff will turn him into the best in the league.
Similarly, his non-penalty expected goals number is the 2nd best in the league and dwarfs the seasoned big 6 players in the league.
The same could be said about his non-penalty expected goals for shots per 90.
Drawing up a conclusion from the analysis, it can be said that Kai Havertz has the silky touch of Özil and the power of Ballack. He is a players that likes to thrive on the freedom that he is given which has seen in flourish in areas such as pass making under pressure, shot creating and shots on target per 90. With a little work under Lampard, he could easily improve in other areas and become a complete attacking midfielder.
Whether Lampard deploys him inside of the right wing, as a central attacking midfielder or in a position similar to De Bruyne remains to be seen. Whatever the positions he plays in, he is going to grow into it and master it. He is only 21 years old and with the majority of the career ahead of him, he will only become a bigger asset for Chelsea with time.
What do you think about the potential signing of Kai Havertz? Will he become the next big thing? Let us know in the comments below!