Tuchel outlines why Chelsea signed Saul on loan
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Florian Wirtz has been hailed as the next Kai Havertz, with Premier League clubs as well as Bayern Munich tracking the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder. The 18-year-old has stepped up since Havertz’s big-money move to Chelsea – but his suitors will face a significant stumbling block if they want to sign him when the transfer window re-opens.
Havertz was described as the best player in Leverkusen’s history by managing director Rudi Völler ahead of his £72million switch to Chelsea last summer.
That was a big claim given the club have had Michael Ballack, Toni Kroos, Arturo Vidal on their books – but is shows how highly he was thought of at the Bundesliga club.
A mixed first season at Stamford Bridge ultimately ended on a high for Havertz when he scored the winner against Manchester City in the Champions League.
But in the meantime, another talented youngster was stepping up to fill the void at the Bay Arena.
JUST IN: Thomas Tuchel spells out key difference between Chelsea and Man Utd
Wirtz enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Leverkusen last season, scoring five goals and laying on six assists in 29 top-flight appearances – and he didn’t turn 18 until May.
This season he is well on course to top that, having already scored twice and set up three in his opening three games.
The teenager has earned comparisons not only because he can play in the same positions – as an attacking midfielder, on the flanks or even up front – but also because his career has followed a similar trajectory as that of the Chelsea star.
Wirtz made his Leverkusen debut in a 4-1 win at Werder Bremen in May 2020, just two weeks past his 17th birthday, overtaking Havertz as the club’s youngest ever player, according to the Bundesliga’s official website.
He also replaced his the club-mate as Leverkusen’s youngest scorer when he found the net in a 4-2 loss to Bayern at the tender age of 17 years and 34 days.
Havertz won the Fritz Walter Gold medal, an award recognising the most promising youth talents in Germany, at under-19 level in 2018. Wirtz has already collected gold at U17 level.
Germany legend Lotthar Mätthaus said of Wirtz: “He will be the second Kai Havertz… He will go the same way as Havertz. In a few years, we will see him play for the German national team and we’ll see him play for a big, big team in Europe.”
And Jörg Jakobs, academy director at Wirtz’s former club Cologne, said of the youngster: “Flo can do everything.
“He’s playful, has great technique, incredible game intelligence, is fast with the ball and is a great dribbler. If he stays fit, he’s at least in the same category as Havertz.”
It’s no wonder England’s top-flight clubs are interested in the young attacker.
Football journalist Fabrizio Romano says “many clubs from Premier League plus Bayern are looking at him” but adds that Wirtz has no release clause in his contract, which does not expire until June 2026.
The regular transfer watcher also points out that Leverkusen have no plans to sell the teenager next summer, when he will still be just 19.
But considering how much they pocketed for Havertz, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they slapped a high price tag on their latest rising star.
Source: Read Full Article