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GOLDEN BOYS

Kai Havertz is following the wunderkid footsteps of Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Julian Draxler

The Bayer Leverkusen sensation is the latest talent of the conveyor belt in Germany's long line of production

You have to hand it to Germany.

Since their rock-bottom performance at Euro 2004, when they failed to get out of a group containing Latvia, Holland and the Czech Republic, they have rebooted the machine and put everything into producing world class talent.

The German talent conveyor belt has created several of the best players of the last generation and continues to spit out well-rounded, technical star after well-rounded technical star.

Two generations of wunderkid

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Two generations of wunderkid

Kai Havertz is the latest in a long line of sensational youngsters coming out of Germany.

Standing at 6’2″ The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder is a dominating player in the middle of the park with perfect technique and an eye for the spectacular.

At just 17 years old Havertz was breaking into the Leverkusen first team and became the club’s youngest ever Bundesliga player, he’s gone on to become the youngest player ever to reach 50 Bundesliga appearances.

Most teenagers are just worried about which Fortnite dance to celebrate with but during Havertz’s first season he was going to school Monday-Friday and playing elite level football on the weekends.

He even had to miss a Champions League game against Atletico Madrid because he was studying for high school exams.

Power, pace, technique. SNM.

AP:Associated Press
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Power, pace, technique. SNM.

Havertz came through as a central midfielder, something akin to Toni Kroos, but dreams of moving up to a creative no.10 role in the mould of Mesut Ozil.

And German football is awash with excitement for Leverkusen’s prodigious starlet.

After his debut Leverkusen captain Lars Bender said, “I’ve never seen such a complete player at the age of 17.”

And fellow team-mate German international Julian Brandt is full of praise, “What he brings to the pitch in terms of play-making, technique and mentality is tremendous.

“He’s so talented he has the right stuff to become a world star.”

Havertz’s superstar potential was confirmed as he received the Fritz Walter gold medal this summer – the German FA’s prize for the finest young talent in the country.

Is that the start of a dab?

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Is that the start of a dab?

By winning the award Havertz joins a prestigious roll call of some of the best players in modern German football – from World Cup winners to Champions League superstars.

The first German golden boy was Florian Muller who impressed for Union Berlin but never made it to the top.

But from 2006 onwards there was pretty much a bona fide star selected from one of the u17-u19 categories.

Kevin Prince-Boateng scooped it in 2006, Benedikt Howedes and Marko Marin (u18) in 2007 before Toni Kroos won it at u18 in 2008.

The rest of the list includes Lewis Holtby, Mario Gotze (at u17s and u18s), Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Julian Draxler, Emre Can, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner.

You better believe it Chelsea fans

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You better believe it Chelsea fans

So Havertz is joining some very impressive company with this gong.

Everyone at Leverkusen is excited to see what he will become as he combines Michael Ballack’s physicality with Ozil’s ingenuity.

Just take a peek at some of his stats from last season.

He won 86 of 188 aerial duels last season, only bettered by Leverkusen’s two centre-backs, completed 86.13% of is passes and has already managed seven goals and 15 assists in 54 league games.

The only question left is will he be the next Marko Marin or Toni Kroos?


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