Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool are reportedly keeping a close eye on young Bayer Leverkusen sensation Kai Havertz.
According a report from The Sun, Arsenal are actually front runners to sign the 18-year-old German, who is also being monitored by Liverpool and Southampton. The Gunners had reportedly sent their scouts to watch him when he was on national duty with Germany’s U19 side last week.
Havertz burst onto the scene last season in October 2016, becoming Bayer Leverkusen’s youngster ever Bundesliga debutante aged only 17. Since then, he has gone on to make 56 appearances in all competitions for Die Werkself, scoring 7 goals and registering 13 assists in the process.
He has also managed to nail down a place in Heiko Herrlich’s starting XI and has gone from strength to strength, catching the eye of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. So far this season, he has made 28 appearances in all competitions, scoring 3 and assisting 7.
Kai, who is a product of Bayer Leverkusen’s youth system, idolizes his compatriot Mesut Ozil and the 18-year-old midfielder has has previously drawn comparison to the Arsenal midfielder due to their similar style of play, ability to pick out a pass and ability on the ball.
So it comes as no surprise that he is courting attention from clubs such as Arsenal and Liverpool. Mesut Ozil turns 30 this year, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan is 29 and Santi Cazorla’s contract expires in the summer and is expected to depart from the Emirates in the summer.
Arsenal have a superb record of developing and integrating youngsters into their first team and Kai could turn out to be a wonderful long term acquisition, if he is given the right guidance. The versatile midfielder would also serve as a great understudy to the likes of Ozil and Mkhitaryan.
Liverpool already have a considerably amount of fine young attacking talent in their ranks in the form of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum and playing alongside them could only bring the best out of the young German.
James Milner turned 32 this year which Adam Lallana turns 30. While the English duo are still going strong and there is no rush to replace them just yet, acquiring Havertz would certainly do no harm and Liverpool will have quite the player on their hands if he managed to live up to his potential.
Also, both Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp are great managers for a youngster to work and develop with. However, the most important factor for the Kai at this age is game time. At 18, he is perhaps still too young to be able to break into the starting XI of either side.
Bayer are only 1 point away from the Champions League spots with 6 games to go this season and next season he may very well be playing in the UEFA Champions League as a starting XI regular for his side and that might not be an opportunity he would be willing to sacrifice.
However the lure of the English top flight, the best player, the best managers and the money that comes from playing with a top side have lured bigger names than his in the past and it may be too good an opportunity for him to turn down as well and it will be interesting to see where he decides to ply his trade next season.