Premier League

The argument against Chelsea signing Kai Havertz

Rumours of the Blues pursuing the German international have been swirling recently; however, money might be better used elsewhere

4:00pm on Thursday 25th June 2020
Cameron Smith | Chelsea Analyst

Kai Havertz is a generational talent, there’s no denying it, and he would arguably get into most, if not all, starting XIs in Europe.

A stellar 2017/18 season saw Havertz announced onto the world stage, grabbing 17 goals and three assists in 33 Bundesliga starts.

This season started slowly, but in 2020 he has shown his class to an almost incomprehensible level for someone so young.

He has 21 goals and assists in just 20 games (in all comps) since the turn of the year, and it’s this truly incredible form that has sparked links to Europe’s elite sides.

At just 21, Havertz would fit the general age profile of Chelsea’s current crop of talented youngsters, but there are several reasons the Blues shouldn't go hard for the Leverkusen attacker.

What? Ok, hear our reasoning.

Plentiful supply of attackers already at Chelsea

Whilst Havertz would likely be an instant success for Chelsea in the Premier League, the amount of options already at the club mean he really isn’t needed.

Havertz’s ability to play as a No. 9, No. 10, No. 8 and even wide right if needed, is so unique for someone his age, but the options in those positions at Chelsea are already so stacked.

CFC midfield options

JorginhoBilly Gilmour
N'Golo KanteRuben Loftus-Cheek
Mateo KovacicMason Mount
Ross BarkleyCallum Hudson-Odoi
Christian PulisicHakim Ziyech
Tammy AbrahamTimo Werner
Tino Anjorin

In his starting XI next season Lampard already has to pick only six starters from the list above. Arguably there are already too many options there already, and if Havertz joined then you’d imagine it would mean the end of a career at Chelsea for at least one player from that list.

21 yrs - AM (CR) - Leverkusen
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
Played matches
Shots P90
Touches P90
Successful passing %
Duels won P90

Havertz v current options

Havertz has mostly played as a lone striker since the Bundesliga restart, and if you look at his numbers versus Chelsea’s new signing Timo Werner, he pales in comparison.

Werner has 34 goal contributions in the Bundesliga in 19/20; Havertz has 18, and Havertz’s 2.1 shots P90 is far less than Werner’s 3.9, as well as Abraham’s 3.4 P90.

Werner, and arguably Abraham, would be the better option for the Blues as a No. 9 and therefore it would likely mean Havertz would be utilised in a No. 10 role if he was to sign. With Mount, Loftus-Cheek and Ziyech most expected to fill the hole at attacking midfield next season, let’s compare Havertz’s stats to theirs.

No. 10 Options 19/20 league stats

PlayerAssistsKey Pass P90

Havertz’s goalscoring ability is far greater than the three aforementioned options, however, in this Chelsea side, that role is left to the central striker, and with Werner and Abraham in the side, it’s likely that creation would be the main focus for the selected No. 10.

Whilst Havertz’s 2.7 key passes P90 this season is better than Mount’s 1.7 and Loftus-Cheek's 1.6 (from 2018/19), it is far inferior to Ziyech’s incredible 4.3 P90 in the Eredivisie this campaign.

Frank Lampard already has a plethora of options

Havertz may have age on his side in comparison to Ziyech, but the Moroccan’s creativity far outweighs the German’s (13 assists to 6 in domestic league competitions this season), and this is the key issue in the Chelsea attack that needs improving.

Although Havertz would be an upgrade on both Mount and Loftus-Cheek, Chelsea’s recent focus on promoting English youth would be compromised, and money needs to be spent elsewhere in the squad.

Signings needed elsewhere

Left-back is the key area that has been identified as the weak spot in the Chelsea side, and therefore the £80m+ that would be needed to acquire the services of Havertz should be used to sign a new left-back.


Who should Chelsea sign to address their left-back problem?

Furthermore, transfer links to Ajax’s Andre Onana as a replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga have lingered in the distance throughout the pause in football, and a left-back and Onana would cost at least £50m.

Despite the transfer ban that prevented any signings last summer, Chelsea don’t have an unlimited cash flow, and prioritising a left-back, especially considering the options they already have in attack, would be a better use of money than to pursue Havertz.

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