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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Havertz will shine next season says ex-team-mate Schaus

Kai Havertez and Yannick Schaus

By Alessandro Schiavone

“Chelsea will see Kai Havertz's full potential next year”, predicts former Leverkusen under-19 team-mate Yannick Schaus.

Schaus is confident the Chelsea star will come of age next year after a tough introduction to English football that has seen him score only once in 22 Premier League appearances.

Havertz swapped Die Werkself for the Blues last summer for an eye-watering £72million fee but has so far struggled to make the desired impact at Stamford Bridge. After starring for Bayer Leverkusen his displays are a far cry from what anyone associated with Chelsea expected.

It wasn’t that long ago when current F91 Dudelange player Schaus and Havertz looked irrepressible for Bayer Leverkusen’s youth teams.

The pacy Luxembourg winger used to bypass his markers with ease on the right wing before rolling the ball across the six-yard box for Havertz to apply the final touch and add to his tally.

For the under-21 Luxembourg international Havertz was a silent leader who didn’t just drive himself on but drove his team-mates to greater heights, too.

Until the move to Chelsea, his career seemed like plain sailing. And even the player himself did not envisage finding himself out of the starting XI more often than not under former manager Frank Lampard. Following the arrival of Thomas Tuchel, Havertz has shown glimpses of his talent but he is far from being the first name on his compatriot’s teamsheet as he had to make do with a place on the bench in Saturday's 5-2 shock home defeat to West Bromwich.

Having had to settle into a new country and city during a national lockdown compounded his woes.

Schaus is well-placed to assess the player’s current predicament and express his opinion, having had a front-row seat at Havertz’s ascent from talent to Bayer Leverkusen and Germany superstar. And if you ask Schaus, things are beginning to look up for his contemporary. He is adamant Chelsea’s attacking midfielder will lay this season’s ghosts to rest as soon as the first ball in the new 2021/2022 Premier League campaign is kicked.

Schaus, who harbours dreams of following Havertz to England one day, said: “Look, English football is very different compared to Germany. Many Bundesliga players take time to adapt. Look at Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, they also needed time to come to terms with the intensity and physicality. Havertz has enormous quality and in the end that will always make the difference. We can see that the managerial change with Thomas Tuchel arriving did Kai’s confidence the world of good.

“Kai Havertz is a real talent. I had the chance to train and play with him for Bayer Leverkusen’s under 19s side and already then he showed a maturity beyond his tender years. He was a precocious talent. During his time with the under-19s, I had the chance and opportunity to link up with them on a couple of occasions and you could see that he was ahead of his peers and had way more talent than anyone else. Even in his head he was ahead of the rest. He saw spaces that no one else could see.

“Such was his ability that he swiftly outgrew the youth teams and established himself in the first team.

“He skipped several age groups and after only two weeks with the under-19s he played with the pros. It was a pity I could not play longer with Kai but he was just too good.

“Despite struggling, Kai has what it takes to succeed in English football and I am sure that in his second season he will make his mark there as well.”


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