confirmed the signing of Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Kai Havertz on a
five-year deal to take their spending spree this summer close to £200 million.
The German international’s
arrival in a reported £71 million (€94 million) is a clear warning shot to the rest of the league as Chelsea seek to cut the gap to Manchester
City and Liverpool at the summit of English football.
21-year-old, who can be deployed both as an attacking midfielder and as a
forward, becomes Chelsea’s sixth signing of the summer, joining compatriot Timo
Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr.
In Frank Lampard’s
first year as manager, Chelsea finished fourth, 33 points behind champions Liverpool.
“I am very
happy and proud to be here. For me it is a dream come true to play in a big
club like Chelsea and I can’t wait to meet all the players and the trainers,”
Havertz told the Chelsea website.
comfortably surpasses Werner’s short-lived record as the most expensive German footballer
after he joined Chlesea for €53 million in June.
broke the former RB Leipzig striker’s record of being the youngest player to
make 50 and 100 Bundesliga appearances since becoming Leverkusen’s youngest-ever
player at 17.
scored 46 goals in 150 competitive matches for Leverkusen, although was unable
to help the club secure a Champions League place in his final season as they finished
fifth in the Bundesliga.
He was eager
to join a Champions League club and Chelsea were quick to sign the attacker despite
having glaring problems at the other end of the pitch.
“Kai is one
of the best players of his age in world football, so we are very happy that his
future lies at Chelsea,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.
proven pedigree in one of the best leagues in Europe, he plays for the German
national side and he is an exciting, dynamic talent. We are delighted to be
able to add his versatility and quality to the squad before the season begins.”
physical attributes and goal threat have earned comparisons to former Chelsea
midfielder and Germany captain Michael Ballack and Arsenal playmaker Mesut
special. He is like a hybrid of Michael Ballack and Mesut Ozil,” said Owen
Hargeraves, former Manchester United and Bayern Munich midfielder.
a lot in terms of his goals and elegance. He is a super player.”
ban last year meant Lampard could not bring in new signings in his first season
in charge, while Chelsea also cashed in on star Belgian winger Eden Hazard, who
signed for Real Madrid in a big-money move last summer.
yet be more players incoming with a goalkeeper high on Lampard’s wishlist, as
Chelsea’s £72 million Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has largely
underwhelmed between the posts.