Kai Lukas Havertz (born 11 June 1999) is a German professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or forward for Premier League club Arsenal and the Germany national team.

Kai Havertz
Havertz with Germany in 2019
Personal information
Full name Kai Lukas Havertz
Date of birth (1999-06-11) 11 June 1999 (age 25)
Place of birth Aachen, Germany
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)[1]
Position(s) Attacking midfielder, forward[2]
Team information
Current team
Arsenal
Number 29
Youth career
2003–2009 Alemannia Mariadorf
2009–2010 Alemannia Aachen
2010–2016 Bayer Leverkusen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016–2020 Bayer Leverkusen 118 (36)
2020–2023 Chelsea 91 (19)
2023– Arsenal 37 (13)
International career
2014–2015 Germany U16 6 (0)
2015–2016 Germany U17 16 (2)
2017–2018 Germany U19 8 (7)
2018– Germany 48 (17)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 18:07, 19 May 2024 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 19:17, 19 June 2024 (UTC)

Having graduated from Bayer Leverkusen's youth academy in 2016, Havertz made his senior debut with the club in the same year. Upon making his debut, Havertz became the club's youngest-ever debutant in the Bundesliga, and he became their youngest-ever goalscorer when he scored his first goal the following year. He is also the youngest player to reach the milestones of 50 and 100 league appearances in the German top flight.

Havertz's performances sparked the interest of several European clubs, with Chelsea signing him in 2020 for a transfer worth €84 million (£72 million), making him Chelsea's second-most expensive signing at the time. With Chelsea, Havertz won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2021, scoring the winning goals in the Champions League and Club World Cup finals. In June 2023, he joined fellow London side Arsenal.

After appearing for Germany at various youth levels, Havertz made his senior international debut in September 2018, becoming the first player born in 1999 to represent the national team. He represented Germany at two editions of the UEFA European Championships (2020, and 2024), as well as the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Early life

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Kai Lukas Havertz[3] was born on 11 June 1999[4] in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia.[5] He grew up in Mariadorf, a district of Alsdorf.[6] Later, the family moved to Aachen.[7] His father Ralf is a policeman and his mother Anne is a lawyer.[8]

Club career

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Youth career

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Havertz received his first experience in football at the age of four when he joined amateur club Alemannia Mariadorf, where his grandfather, Richard, was chairman of the club.[9] In 2009, he was signed by 2. Bundesliga club Alemannia Aachen where he spent only a year in the club's academy before joining Bayer Leverkusen at the age of 11.[10] In the years that followed, he had to overcome the challenges associated with growth spurts and in 2016, after scoring 18 goals for the club's U-17 team, he was awarded the silver U-17 Fritz Walter Medal before breaking into Leverkusen's senior team the following year.[9][11][12]

Bayer Leverkusen

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Havertz with Bayer Leverkusen in 2018

Havertz made his debut for Bayer Leverkusen on 15 October 2016, coming on as a second-half substitute for Charles Aránguiz in a 2–1 Bundesliga loss to Werder Bremen. Upon entering the field of play, he became the club's youngest-ever Bundesliga debutant, at the age of 17 years and 126 days, although his record was broken (by 111 days) by Florian Wirtz in 2020.[10][13][14] On 17 February 2017, he assisted teammate Karim Bellarabi to score the 50,000th Bundesliga goal.[15] Four days later, following the suspension of teammate Hakan Çalhanoğlu, he was handed his first Champions League start in the first leg of a round of 16 loss to Atlético Madrid.[16][17] He was ruled out of the return leg of the fixture in March, however, as the match clashed with the examinations period at his school.[18] He scored his first goal for the club on 2 April, netting a late equaliser in a 3–3 draw with VfL Wolfsburg.[19] Upon doing so, Havertz broke another club record to become Leverkusen's youngest-ever goalscorer in the Bundesliga, at the age of 17.[20] He ultimately made 28 appearances across all competitions and scored four goals, including a brace against Hertha BSC on the final day of the season, as Leverkusen ended the campaign in 12th position.[21]

On 14 April 2018, Havertz became the youngest player in the history of the Bundesliga to reach 50 appearances at 18 years and 307 days old, breaking the record previously held by Timo Werner, who also later joined Havertz in the summer of 2020.[22][23] He went on to end his second full campaign with the club with 30 league appearances and three goals to his name as Leverkusen ended the season in fifth place.[24]

Havertz continued to impress during the following season, despite Leverkusen initially struggling in the league, and by the mid-way point of the campaign was the only player to have started every match for the club, scoring six goals along the way.[25] On 20 September 2018, Havertz scored his first two goals in European competitions in a 3–2 win against Ludogorets Razgrad in the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League.[26] On 26 January 2019, he became Leverkusen's youngest-ever penalty scorer when he scored from the spot in a 3–0 league win over Wolfsburg, aged 19 years, seven months and 16 days.[27] The following month, he became the second youngest-ever player to achieve 75 Bundesliga appearances, behind Julian Draxler, when he started and scored in a 2–0 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf.[28] On 13 April, he scored on his 100th appearance for Leverkusen to help the club to a 1–0 league win over VfB Stuttgart. The goal, his 13th for the campaign, also saw him become the youngest player since Stuttgart's own Horst Köppel in 1967–68 to score 13 goals in a single league season.[29] On 5 May, he scored his 15th goal of the campaign during a 6–1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt; a match which for the first time ever saw seven goals scored in the first half of a Bundesliga match.[30] On the final day of the season, he became the highest scoring teenager in a single Bundesliga campaign when he scored his 17th goal during a 5–1 win over Hertha BSC.[31] At the end of the season, he was named runner-up to Marco Reus for the German Footballer of the Year award, losing out by just 37 votes.[32]

On the opening day of the 2019–20 campaign, Havertz scored in Leverkusen's 3–2 win over Paderborn, becoming the second-youngest player of all time behind Köppel to score 25 Bundesliga goals.[33] In December, at the age of 20 years, six months and four days, he broke another of Werner's records to become the youngest-ever player to reach 100 Bundesliga appearances when he started in his team's 2–0 defeat to Köln.[34] In the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League, Havertz scored in both matches against Porto in the round of 32, then he scored a goal in a 2–1 defeat to Inter Milan in the quarter-final.[35]

Chelsea

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Havertz playing for Chelsea in 2020

On 4 September 2020, Havertz signed a five-year contract with Premier League club Chelsea.[36][37] The transfer fee was reported to be worth an initial £62 million, which could rise to £71 million with add-ons, making him Chelsea's second-most expensive signing after Kepa Arrizabalaga.[38][39] On 14 September, he made his Chelsea debut in the league opener against Brighton & Hove Albion, which ended in a 3–1 away win.[40] On 23 September, Havertz scored his first career hat-trick and his first Chelsea goals in a 6–0 home win over Barnsley in the third round of the EFL Cup.[41] Havertz scored his first-ever Premier League goal against Southampton on 17 October, in a 3–3 draw at home.[42] On 4 November 2020, it was revealed that Havertz had tested positive for COVID-19.[43]

On 29 May 2021, he scored the only goal of the game in the 2021 UEFA Champions League final. It was his first-ever goal in the competition as Chelsea beat fellow English club Manchester City to win the title for the second time in club history.[44][45] Later that year, on 11 August, Havertz won the UEFA Super Cup with Chelsea, beating Villarreal in the final on penalties, despite him missing his penalty.[46] On 28 August, he scored his first goal of the 2021–22 season in a 1–1 draw at Liverpool.[47]

On 12 February 2022, Havertz scored the winning goal in the 117th minute of the FIFA Club World Cup Final from a penalty kick, which ended in a 2–1 victory over Palmeiras.[48] Afterwards that year, on 3 September, he scored the winner in a 2–1 home victory against West Ham United for his first goal of the 2022–23 season.[49] On 25 October, he scored the winner in a 2–1 away victory against Red Bull Salzburg, which qualified his club for the knockout phase.[50]

Arsenal

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On 28 June 2023, Havertz joined fellow London club Arsenal for a reported fee of £65 million.[51] He made his debut on 13 July in a 1–1 pre-season draw with 1. FC Nürnberg.[52] Six days later, Havertz scored Arsenal's fifth in a 5–0 victory in the 2023 MLS All-Star Game.[53] On 6 August, he made his competitive debut for the club against Manchester City in the Community Shield, which Arsenal won 4–1 on penalties.[54] On 30 September, Havertz scored his first goal for Arsenal, a penalty in a 4–0 victory over Bournemouth.[55] On 25 November, he scored his first open-play goal for the club by scoring the winning goal in a 1–0 win over Brentford.[56] Four days later, Havertz netted his first Champions League goal for the club in a 6–0 rout of Lens.[57] On 24 February 2024, Havertz contributed his first double goal contribution for the club by scoring and assisting in a 4–1 victory over Newcastle United.[58]

On the final matchday of the 2023–24 season, he scored the winning goal in a 2–1 victory over Everton, as his club finished second in the league.[59] He concluded his first season at Arsenal under coach Mikel Arteta with a personal best of 20 goal contributions, tallying 13 goals and seven assists.[60]

International career

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Youth

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Havertz made his debut for the Germany national under-16 team on 11 November 2014, starting in the friendly match against the Czech Republic before being substituted out in the 57th minute for Tom Baack. The match finished as a 3–1 win for Germany.[61]

Havertz was included in Germany's squad for the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Azerbaijan.[62] He appeared in all five of Germany's matches, scoring once before Germany were eliminated by Spain in the semi-final.[citation needed]

Following a 15-month absence from youth internationals, Havertz made his debut for Germany's under-19 team, debuting on 31 August 2017 in the 0–0 friendly draw against Switzerland, coming on in the 72nd minute for Palkó Dárdai.[63] On 4 October 2017, in his third appearance for the under-19 team, Havertz scored four goals in a 5–1 win against Belarus in the first round of European Under-19 Championship qualifying.[64] He was later named captain of the under-19 team.[65]

Senior

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Havertz with Germany in 2019

On 29 August 2018, Havertz was called up to Germany's senior team for the first time by head coach Joachim Löw. He was included in the squad for Germany's UEFA Nations League match against France and friendly against Peru.[65][66] Havertz made his international debut on 9 September 2018, coming on as a substitute in the 88th minute for Timo Werner against Peru, with the match finishing as a 2–1 home win for Germany.[67] Upon making his debut, he became the first player born in 1999 to represent the national team.[68] On 19 May 2021, he was selected to the German squad for the UEFA Euro 2020.[69] On 19 June 2021, he scored Germany's third goal in the 51st minute in a 4–2 win over Portugal in the UEFA Euro 2020.[70] He scored a goal in the final group fixture for a 2–2 draw against Hungary which saw his side qualify for the knockout phase of the competition.[71]

In November 2022, he was selected in the final squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.[72] On 1 December, he scored a brace in a 4–2 win over Costa Rica; however, Germany did not progress to the knockout round.[73]

Havertz was named in Germany's squad for UEFA Euro 2024.[74] In the opening match of the tournament on 14 June, Havertz played the first 63 minutes, assisting the team's second goal and scoring the third from a penalty kick as Germany won 5–1 against Scotland in Munich.[75]

Player profile

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Style of play

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Havertz has been described as a technically gifted, two-footed attacking midfielder who is comfortable with the ball on either foot and adept with his head. During his formative years, his style of play drew early comparisons to compatriot Mesut Özil, with Havertz himself admitting the midfielder was a player he looked up to.[76] By the age of 19, and following numerous impressive performances in the Bundesliga, further comparisons had been drawn between Havertz and former Leverkusen players such as Michael Ballack and Toni Kroos and some began describing him as a combination of all three and an Alleskönner – a player who can do everything.[77] He has also been compared with Thomas Müller, as they both have the talent for finding spaces in congested areas and making the right runs, although Havertz has been described as a more elegant and skilful player than Müller.[78] Havertz prefers the false nine role, which he played at Chelsea.[79] However, during the 2021–22 season, he had no specific position and was experimented in different positions, though his best streak came when he played centrally as a forward/false nine, roles that he is very familiar with.[80]

Reception

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Due to his finesse and technique, Paul Merson called Havertz a Rolls-Royce footballer stating, "Havertz is one of Chelsea's best players. People forget he is class. He knits things together. He's a Rolls-Royce, he glides round the pitch."[81]

Personal life

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Havertz has been in a relationship with German model and social media influencer Sophia Weber since 2018.[82] The couple announced their engagement in July 2023.[83]

Havertz idolizes Toni Kroos, his teammate from the Germany national team, former Barcelona players Ronaldinho and Andres Iniesta, and former Real Madrid players Zinedine Zidane and Kaká.[84]

Career statistics

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Club

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As of match played 19 May 2024
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup[a] League cup[b] Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bayer Leverkusen 2016–17[85] Bundesliga 24 4 1 0 3[c] 0 28 4
2017–18[85] Bundesliga 30 3 5 1 35 4
2018–19[85] Bundesliga 34 17 2 0 6[d] 3 42 20
2019–20[85] Bundesliga 30 12 5 2 10[e] 4 45 18
Total 118 36 13 3 19 7 150 46
Chelsea 2020–21[86] Premier League 27 4 5 1 1 3 12[c] 1 45 9
2021–22[87] Premier League 29 8 3 0 3 2 9[c] 3 3[f] 1 47 14
2022–23[88] Premier League 35 7 1 0 1 0 10[c] 2 47 9
Total 91 19 9 1 5 5 31 6 3 1 139 32
Arsenal 2023–24[89] Premier League 37 13 1 0 2 0 10[c] 1 1[g] 0 51 14
Career total 246 68 23 4 7 5 60 14 4 1 340 92
  1. ^ Includes DFB-Pokal, FA Cup
  2. ^ Includes EFL Cup
  3. ^ a b c d e Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  4. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  5. ^ Five appearances in UEFA Champions League, five appearances and four goals in UEFA Europa League
  6. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, two appearances and one goal in FIFA Club World Cup
  7. ^ Appearance in FA Community Shield

International

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As of match played 19 June 2024[90]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Germany 2018 2 0
2019 5 1
2020 3 1
2021 13 5
2022 10 5
2023 9 2
2024 6 3
Total 48 17
As of match played 19 June 2024
Germany score listed first, score column indicates score after each Havertz goal[90]
List of international goals scored by Kai Havertz
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition Ref.
1 9 October 2019 Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany 6   Argentina 2–0 2–2 Friendly [91]
2 13 October 2020 RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne, Germany 10    Switzerland 2–2 3–3 2020–21 UEFA Nations League A [92]
3 25 March 2021 MSV-Arena, Duisburg, Germany 11   Iceland 2–0 3–0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification [93]
4 19 June 2021 Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany 16   Portugal 3–1 4–2 UEFA Euro 2020 [94]
5 23 June 2021 Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany 17   Hungary 1–1 2–2 UEFA Euro 2020 [95]
6 11 October 2021 Toše Proeski Arena, Skopje, North Macedonia 22   North Macedonia 1–0 4–0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification [96]
7 14 November 2021 Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia 23   Armenia 1–0 4–1 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification [97]
8 26 March 2022 Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Sinsheim, Germany 24   Israel 1–0 2–0 Friendly [98]
9 26 September 2022 Wembley Stadium, London, England 30   England 2–0 3–3 2022–23 UEFA Nations League A [99]
10 3–3
11 1 December 2022 Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar 33   Costa Rica 2–2 4–2 2022 FIFA World Cup [100]
12 3–2
13 12 June 2023 Weserstadion, Bremen, Germany 35   Ukraine 2–3 3–3 Friendly [101]
14 18 November 2023 Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany 41   Turkey 1–0 2–3 Friendly [102]
15 23 March 2024 Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon, France 43   France 2–0 2–0 Friendly [103]
16 7 June 2024 Borussia-Park, Mönchengladbach, Germany 46   Greece 1–1 2–1 Friendly [104]
17 14 June 2024 Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany 47   Scotland 3–0 5–1 UEFA Euro 2024 [105]

Honours

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Bayer Leverkusen

Chelsea

Arsenal

Individual

References

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