Kai Havertz (AM) Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Richard88

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I don't like Havertz. He is now at his 4th season and he is so inconsistent. Last year he looked like Gerrard 2.0, this year he looks like Lallana 2.0.
Lallana is a really good player, and I for one would be delighted if we signed someone who was Lallana 2.0 (let alone having the potential to be Gerrard 2.0).
 

Zoran

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Honigstein on Havertz possibly to Liverpool:

"There is no bid as far as I know. It's true that Klopp and his agents have a good relationship and talked about the player in the past, but that was in very general terms. Not sure he would easily fit into the existing 4-3-3 set-up."
 

Limiescouse

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Honigstein on Havertz possibly to Liverpool:

"There is no bid as far as I know. It's true that Klopp and his agents have a good relationship and talked about the player in the past, but that was in very general terms. Not sure he would easily fit into the existing 4-3-3 set-up."
He would need a freer, more attacking role? The middle of the 3 in a 4-2-3-1?
 

Zoran

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He would need a freer, more attacking role? The middle of the 3 in a 4-2-3-1?
For now, it seems so, yeah. Or, beacuse the middle #10 is still a demanding position at some places, possibly playing inside right in the half-space (depending on other forwards), like Ozil also did at times. Or Eriksen at Spurs, who never really made the evolution deeper to an #8 in a midfield 3, but mainly played in that right inside channel with an offensive RB on his side. Leverkusen have played different formations in the last year or two, I think Kai got a taste of it, but some of these questions still remain. He has time to evolve, so we'll see.
 

Neukolln

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Agreed that, Zoran. I did hear Havertz say, his words, he prefers the #8 opposed to the #10.
 

Zoran

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Different with Gini I'd say. He was (still is) pretty versatile. Everyone was wondering what is he really. He was playing a little bit everywhere before (right side, attacking midfielder, second striker, on the left), but higher up the pitch, though at a lower level than now. Not quite the same playing for the clubs and leagues he's played in (took him time to really break through for Holland, but that can happen with them like we saw with other examples) and then to replicate that for a rising Liverpool side. It's obvious that he's found a new way of being important here. More of a worker/strong in transition phases than a creator/goal-maker/scorer. First two seasons were so-so, okay to good, sometimes invisible, but the last two he's more vital for us. I remember it's not like we really missed him when he had an injury and Ox had that little strong run in the team in 2018. But from that summer when we invested big money in Fabinho and Keita and almost a third player who could've changed our formation (Fekir), it's like Gini got positively angry and Klopp pulled every bit out of his athleticism to takeover a more hard-working, deeper role.

With Havertz, we'll see. Obviously every highly talented young player from the Bundesliga will be linked with us at some point in the media. Leverkusen and Liverpool are also not the same level. Havertz seems like he will be very much a central type of player, either a floating between the lines #10 type (but might need a certain league/team/style/team mates/tools around him for everything to make sense) or potentially really does take his off the ball game to a new level and drops a bit deeper, like one of the two offensive #8's, or the one with the most freedom, to face the game more. Which would mean operating slightly deeper, which brings new responsibilities. It's why I found it strange all the time that Eriksen par example waited for Real to potentially go there and replace Modric. They're simply not playing the same position, though it might lazily look the same when you see them. It might be 10 yards, but it's different. Eriksen is not old at soon to be 28, but you wonder is there's room for him to ever make that step now, it might be too late, he might be best to continue in the between the lines roles he had so far and that's it.

Keita came here as a more proper, playing both ways #8 and even he has struggled with the intensity and maybe the understanding of what's fundamentally needed to win a midfield place here. I really thought he'd be a high success here (like honestly pretty soon one of the leading CM's in the league), he might still be, but so far it just didn't go as planned (and other have raised their level, we've also improved and are still improving). We're cemented now as one of the few top teams with balance and sense all over the pitch, from Ali to Bobby. It's not quite easy even for some highly skilled players to make even a "10 yard change", not as we as fans might often imagine.
 

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Different with Gini I'd say. He was (still is) pretty versatile. Everyone was wondering what is he really. He was playing a little bit everywhere before (right side, attacking midfielder, second striker, on the left), but higher up the pitch, though at a lower level than now. Not quite the same playing for the clubs and leagues he's played in (took him time to really break through for Holland, but that can happen with them like we saw with other examples) and then to replicate that for a rising Liverpool side. It's obvious that he's found a new way of being important here. More of a worker/strong in transition phases than a creator/goal-maker/scorer. First two seasons were so-so, okay to good, sometimes invisible, but the last two he's more vital for us. I remember it's not like we really missed him when he had an injury and Ox had that little strong run in the team in 2018. But from that summer when we invested big money in Fabinho and Keita and almost a third player who could've changed our formation (Fekir), it's like Gini got positively angry and Klopp pulled every bit out of his athleticism to takeover a more hard-working, deeper role.

With Havertz, we'll see. Obviously every highly talented young player from the Bundesliga will be linked with us at some point in the media. Leverkusen and Liverpool are also not the same level. Havertz seems like he will be very much a central type of player, either a floating between the lines #10 type (but might need a certain league/team/style/team mates/tools around him for everything to make sense) or potentially really does take his off the ball game to a new level and drops a bit deeper, like one of the two offensive #8's, or the one with the most freedom, to face the game more. Which would mean operating slightly deeper, which brings new responsibilities. It's why I found it strange all the time that Eriksen par example waited for Real to potentially go there and replace Modric. They're simply not playing the same position, though it might lazily look the same when you see them. It might be 10 yards, but it's different. Eriksen is not old at soon to be 28, but you wonder is there's room for him to ever make that step now, it might be too late, he might be best to continue in the between the lines roles he had so far and that's it.

Keita came here as a more proper, playing both ways #8 and even he has struggled with the intensity and maybe the understanding of what's fundamentally needed to win a midfield place here. I really thought he'd be a high success here (like honestly pretty soon one of the leading CM's in the league), he might still be, but so far it just didn't go as planned (and other have raised their level, we've also improved and are still improving). We're cemented now as one of the few top teams with balance and sense all over the pitch, from Ali to Bobby. It's not quite easy even for some highly skilled players to make even a "10 yard change", not as we as fans might often imagine.
It's a bit odd to put an epithet of indispensable, for Hendo and Gini, as we imagine our "dream team". But, it is obvious they will not be unrooted "easily"... Keita and Ox, even thought as more talented. If they fulfill the expectations (we saw they can), well...
However, looking at Havertz, at his age...He could become the next Zidane!- Excelent first touch, creative, savvy...One negative side, if there's any-tad to tall maybe?
...I agree, what to do, if you manage the best team in the world. Not only that, almost optimaly fitted squad...Oh, the "sweet torment":cool:
 

Richard88

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Probably the best video I have come across as it doesn't just highlight goals and assists. You sort of have to ignore the commentary of his play, I find it a bit annoying.

When I watch Havertz play I see more of a "Firmino false 9" type of forward rather than a central midfielder. At least that's where I could see him fitting best into Klopp's system. The Firmino role needs someone really cerebral with exceptional positional sense, much more so than the CM's in my opinion, and Havertz has that awareness in spades.

I mean, I'm sure he'd make a great CM as well, but the way he gets into the box and onto the end of attacks really looks to me more like a forward than a midfielder.
 

nikz200

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Its sad, out of the 3 potential big money moves Mbappe, Sancho or Havertz , i would rather have Havertz but he is probably the hardest next to Mbappe to get. He is made for Bayerns german monopoly, I've rarely seen top german players move to us recently , Emre Can was a anomaly in that regard, but i would hardly call him a superstar potential talent.
 

redfanman

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When I watch Havertz play I see more of a "Firmino false 9" type of forward rather than a central midfielder. At least that's where I could see him fitting best into Klopp's system. The Firmino role needs someone really cerebral with exceptional positional sense, much more so than the CM's in my opinion, and Havertz has that awareness in spades.

I mean, I'm sure he'd make a great CM as well, but the way he gets into the box and onto the end of attacks really looks to me more like a forward than a midfielder.
Even if his game was as an attacking midfielder, that isnt necesserily what we would want him to play here just because of the donkey work we ask our midfielders to do.
 

Limiescouse

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Its sad, out of the 3 potential big money moves Mbappe, Sancho or Havertz , i would rather have Havertz but he is probably the hardest next to Mbappe to get. He is made for Bayerns german monopoly, I've rarely seen top german players move to us recently , Emre Can was a anomaly in that regard, but i would hardly call him a superstar potential talent.
Interesting piece on him here. In discussing the impact that growing up next to the Duth and Belgian border he is quoted as saying

"Bayern Munich is a great club, but I can't say I only want to stay in Germany," Havertz says. "Some people want to spend their whole lives here. I'm not that guy. I'm open to anything."


As someone who hasnt seen him much two things jumped out at from this piece.
1) Other than being smart, there is no one thing you can point to for an explanation of why he is good. He just does everything well.
2) When the team changed and needed help in other areas he adapted his game to try to help

Both of these things scream "Klopp player".
 
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Nikola

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I can't help the feeling that Liverpool are being used to drive up his price tag (best German talent + best German football coach etc.), partially because he didn't repeat the numbers from his previous season. According to the news Fjortoft relayed recently, Liverpool are in for Sancho, Werner and Havertz - how does that work?! That's more than 200 million pounds in transfer fees alone, and it's not like the front three need replacing right now, and Klopp will give more time to Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita, surely?

That said, Havertz... What a talent, one that you build your team around and tune it to make the most out of him, to turn him into a 10/10 player, not shoehorn him into a side because he can play everywhere in attack or midfield as an 8/10 or 9/10 player. Quite possibly the natural successor to De Bruyne in terms of actual football brilliance and maybe the numbers as well.

Where he'd play at Liverpool, I honestly have no clue. I know he'd cost as much as the aforementioned two, maybe plus Wijnaldum as well. I don't see Klopp going for it and stifling the progress of quite a few of his players (I include Jones here, Klopp even said earlier today that he would look at in-house solutions first before buying someone, referring specifically to Jones).
 

Dimitriy

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@Nikola ...That said, Havertz... What a talent, one that you build your team around and tune it to make the most out of him, to turn him into a 10/10 player, not shoehorn him into a side because he can play everywhere in attack or midfield as an 8/10 or 9/10 player. Quite possibly the natural successor to De Bruyne in terms of actual football brilliance and maybe the numbers as well.
...I have that feeling also; - The next Gerrard...Someone for the next 8-10 years !!!
 

DanLFC

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I can't help the feeling that Liverpool are being used to drive up his price tag (best German talent + best German football coach etc.), partially because he didn't repeat the numbers from his previous season. According to the news Fjortoft relayed recently, Liverpool are in for Sancho, Werner and Havertz - how does that work?! That's more than 200 million pounds in transfer fees alone, and it's not like the front three need replacing right now, and Klopp will give more time to Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita, surely?

That said, Havertz... What a talent, one that you build your team around and tune it to make the most out of him, to turn him into a 10/10 player, not shoehorn him into a side because he can play everywhere in attack or midfield as an 8/10 or 9/10 player. Quite possibly the natural successor to De Bruyne in terms of actual football brilliance and maybe the numbers as well.

Where he'd play at Liverpool, I honestly have no clue. I know he'd cost as much as the aforementioned two, maybe plus Wijnaldum as well. I don't see Klopp going for it and stifling the progress of quite a few of his players (I include Jones here, Klopp even said earlier today that he would look at in-house solutions first before buying someone, referring specifically to Jones).
Agree about the talent level but I don't know if we will ever be a team built around one player ever again or at least while Klopp is here.

If you look at the players we have for the attacking roles they all have that positional versatility Firmino, Mane, Salah all can rotate through the front 3 positions even Origi plays central and wide and all give us that solid 8,9/10 performance. Same goes for our Mids really nearly all of them have played in a holding role and an attacking role at some point in time and again all give us that solid 8,9/10 performance doing so.

I don't see us bringing in any player and tailoring the system for that player bar maybe Mbappe. I think we are more likley to bring in players that will fit our existing system and are prepared to play the role we want them to play in that system rather than us changing for them.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Agree about the talent level but I don't know if we will ever be a team built around one player ever again or at least while Klopp is here.

If you look at the players we have for the attacking roles they all have that positional versatility Firmino, Mane, Salah all can rotate through the front 3 positions even Origi plays central and wide and all give us that solid 8,9/10 performance. Same goes for our Mids really nearly all of them have played in a holding role and an attacking role at some point in time and again all give us that solid 8,9/10 performance doing so.

I don't see us bringing in any player and tailoring the system for that player bar maybe Mbappe. I think we are more likley to bring in players that will fit our existing system and are prepared to play the role we want them to play in that system rather than us changing for them.
Even Mbappe, one of the reasons he is such a dream move is how well he would fit our tactics. We wouldn't have to change anything to accommodate him in my opinion.
 

Nikola

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Agree about the talent level but I don't know if we will ever be a team built around one player ever again or at least while Klopp is here.

If you look at the players we have for the attacking roles they all have that positional versatility Firmino, Mane, Salah all can rotate through the front 3 positions even Origi plays central and wide and all give us that solid 8,9/10 performance. Same goes for our Mids really nearly all of them have played in a holding role and an attacking role at some point in time and again all give us that solid 8,9/10 performance doing so.

I don't see us bringing in any player and tailoring the system for that player bar maybe Mbappe. I think we are more likley to bring in players that will fit our existing system and are prepared to play the role we want them to play in that system rather than us changing for them.
Fully agreed, and just to make it clear, I've never suggested that Klopp would do that with Havertz or any other player - with him, the team is the king. I just look at Havertz and think of him as a successor to players like Stevie and De Bruyne, i.e. supremely talented, versatile, once-in-a-decade anomalies (not named Messi or Ronaldo) that managers build their teams around. In my opinion, Man City's tactical plan is largely built around De Bruyne and it's a credit to Guardiola that they won the title last season against this Liverpool side without having him for majority of that season - but that's for another discussion.

So, I'd love Havertz at Liverpool as much as I'd love Mbappe but when you take Klopp's comments into account and current squad situation, I think he'll give every chance to Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita and Jones to prove themselves, rather than splash huge money on a player who, while insanely talented, would be viewed as a luxury and would come with a heavy burden of a nine figure price tag.
 

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The guy is extremely versatile. He definitely has all the qualities to play in the front three and interchange on the fly. Not quite as fast as Mo or Mane, few are, yet he is deceptive quick and has unbelievable acceleration.

He will probably be one of the major two that we bring in, with three leaving.
 

big noyd

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only 20, getting less game time and feeling more pressure really isn't what he needs at this point

too many dominoes would have to fall for it to make sense this summer. and seems like if it lingers over multiple windows he's destined for bayern. we won there with fabinho & lovren anchoring the defense, so he can knock himself out. cologne-liverpool nailed it, things have changed

wasn't too long ago that i was muttering expletives at the red bull logo and having freudian transference temper tantrums over thomas lemar because of van dijk angst/desperation/terror. now maybe we get mbappe, maybe we just keep salah lol who gives a shit
 

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Not ruling him out just not sure I see what he would be bought for.

He seems like he can play number 8 but what we use our 8s for is a lot of the grunt work and heavy lifting. Now maybe he can do that I don't know. But seems a bit like attaching your touring caravan to a Porsche. Maybe he can do the grunt work so well he can also bring creativity to the CM at the same time but I look at how creative the likes of Keita, Wijnaldum, Ox and even Henderson can be without the shackles on and I don't think we are lacking the option of having creativity come from our CM it's just that's not its job. It's too busy doing other things so other players can do their thing.

At CF or false 9 it sounds like he could become an option but we have arguably the best false 9 currently playing in Firmino right now and both Minamino and Mane can do a decent enough job when Firmino is rested. In fact bringing Havertz in for that role kind of completely negates what we have done bringing Minamino in and casts him to one side.

Wide? We are a side that recorded 97 points last year, looking like we will beat that this year, been to back to back CL finals and won every international trophy in the last 12 months. We have done that largely based on the strength of our plan A 433. One of the essential parts of that working so well is because of the speed and goal threat Salah and Mane provide in the wide positions of the front 3. But after them we have a lot of different options that don't play like them doing a job. The one thing you could argue our attack needs is someone who plays like Mane and Salah (even if maybe not as good). Havertz would be yet another player who our tactics are altered for when we would use him wide. Not terrible to be in that situation if we already had him (like Klopp made real good use of Coutinho wide left sometimes when he was still here). But to purposely go out and spend mega money on someone who doesn't fit the role for our plan A doesn't make great sense.

He seems like, if we had him, he'd be a Jack of all trades for us. Some weaker opposition we could use him as a very offensive 8. Sometimes we could play 4231 with him as a prominent member of the 3. We could have him play false 9 more and more till eventually when Firmino gets older or moves on he could take over (but would he be patient enough and it'd really cut into opportunities for Minamino). And sometimes we could use him wide in a 433 when pace isn't as essential, maybe against slower/weaker fullbacks.

If we had him I'm sure we would use him loads but some players like Curtis Jones (particularly) would have a lot of their potential game time taken and I would feel like we would be looking for opportunities to squeeze him in more than doing it because it was the best way of winning. For the few times it would be the best options to look at for winning to use a player like him I really would like to see Jones be that guy we turn to. I really do think the local lad has the potential to be a special player himself and, yes, Havertz may be more special now and may always be the better player but I'm not convinced the difference will be great enough to spend a mega fee on for someone who would be nice to have and useful but not essential to the way we look to play 80-90% of the time.
 

big noyd

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for the most part klopp appears to regard henderson, salah, & firmino as too indispensable to legitimately rotate. if that changed after this season for, you know, reasons, and both shaq & lallana (plus harry wilson) departed, then there would arguably be enough game time for havertz

there aren't too many players who could improve this side at this point, and there's nobody in the first XI crying for an out & out replacement. so havertz's versatility is more of a selling point than a problem, and almost a requirement for a big signing

also occurs to me that minamino & perhaps origi might be players that would interest leverkusen
 

Limiescouse

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for the most part klopp appears to regard henderson, salah, & firmino as too indispensable to legitimately rotate. if that changed after this season for, you know, reasons, and both shaq & lallana (plus harry wilson) departed, then there would arguably be enough game time for havertz

there aren't too many players who could improve this side at this point, and there's nobody in the first XI crying for an out & out replacement. so havertz's versatility is more of a selling point than a problem, and almost a requirement for a big signing

also occurs to me that minamino & perhaps origi might be players that would interest leverkusen
Look at the way we played yesterday.

Ox started on the left of a front 3. He then dropped back into midfield when mini came on. Mini himself is a player who can seemlessly drop back into a midfield role. One of our midfielders yesterday recently dropped back to RB to end a game. The guy playing next to him has at times played CB and CF for us. I could go on, but the point should be clear. These are fantastically smart players with a wide range of abilities that allow them to move around as needed. It is not square pegs in round holes, but smart players doing what is needed at any time in a game.

Souness made a point a few years ago that the biggest change in the game is that teams are now so highly coached at club level that many top level players have lost the ability to read a game for themselves and adapt. He contrasted that to the way his liverpool team would take it upon themselves to identify and then solve the problems they were facing. But the thing that went unsaid in his commentary was how similarly versatile those players were. Look at the line up from a range of games in the late 70s through 80s and you'll have a damn hard time for many of them figuring out who was playing where. We routinely went out of 3 CBs or 4 CMs or sometimes ever no strikers.

We are getting back to that sort of total football type attitude and application, and I think it's players with the characteristics of Havertz that have enabled it. That, beyond any specific idea of where he fits in, is why he is such a good candidate for us. Where will he play? Where ever he is needed.
 

Prolix

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[...]
We are getting back to that sort of total football type attitude and application, and I think it's players with the characteristics of Havertz that have enabled it. That, beyond any specific idea of where he fits in, is why he is such a good candidate for us. Where will he play? Where ever he is needed.
*aCHOO* :)