Chelsea look set to take advantage of the current transfer market by making big moves this summer. Due to their transfer ban, their finances are healthy and the hierarchy see this as an opportunity to return to the top of the Premier League. Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech are already confirmed as signings for the 2020/21 season, with more likely to follow.
Sky Sports report that the Blues are in talks with Bayer Leverkusen to sign talented forward Kai Havertz in a deal worth up to £70 million. This would be a huge coup for Chelsea, as it was thought that the German would move to one of the biggest clubs in Europe, such as a Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. The current financial situation has limited the clubs willing to pay the money required for the 21-year-old, creating the opportunity for Frank Lampard to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
In the recent Bundesliga season, Havertz emerged as the star for Bayer Leverkusen, with the free flowing style of Peter Bosz suiting him. The German international contributed 12 goals and six assists with a goal involvement every 136.8 minutes. His form post lockdown showed why he is one of the most exciting players in Germany.
Havertz moved into a false nine role and he had the freedom to roam in the final third. During this period, he scored seven times and got one assist. According to Understat, he had a total expected goals (xG) of 4.86 following the restart, which was the fifth highest in the division.
Using Statsbomb data, taken from FB Ref, it is easy to see why Chelsea are prioritising a move for Havertz. His average of 2.13 shots per ninety minutes shows his consistency across the season. This increased significantly following the restart when he was utilised in a false nine role.
However, it is his underlying creativity numbers that rank him as one of the best in the Bundesliga. He averages 4.29 shot creating actions per ninety minutes. In open play, he had a total of 97 passes that led to a shot attempt. Only Thomas Müller had more open play passes that led to a shot attempt and he was playing in a far superior team.
There is a belief that Havertz can go on to become one of the best players in the world. It would feel like a similar transfer to Eden Hazard arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2012. There wasn’t an obvious need for either to come in, but when there is an opportunity to sign a player like this, Chelsea often take it. Supporters are already questioning how they will get their new signings in their current team alongside players expected to stay, such as Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic.
If they can complete a move for Havertz, that will an issue for Lampard. However, there will be more opportunity to rest players without decreasing the quality on the pitch substantially.
In terms of where Havertz will fit in, he is very much a versatile attacker capable of filling multiple roles, as we have seen at Bayer Leverkusen. Peter Bosz is a manager that likes to give his players license to express themselves and Lampard is similar in that sense. The current Chelsea manager will see a lot of himself in the 21-year-old German, especially when it comes to his intelligence and goal threat in the final third.
The most likely position for him long term is in the number ten role. He will then be given freedom to move across the forward line and have license to make runs beyond the striker.
In his pre-match press conference ahead of the Liverpool match, Lampard has made it clear that he isn’t thinking beyond the end of the current season. However, there are Chelsea fans that are getting excited about the ambition being shown by the club. They could be a real force in the 2020-21 campaign if they complete a move for Havertz and continue to show this level of ambition in the transfer market.