The Life Of Kai
Whilst the world fawns (quite rightly) over exceptional young talents like Kylian Mbappé, João Félix & Matthijs de Ligt, there is another. One who plays for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga in Germany. And his name is Kai Havertz. The most gifted player of his generation. So why is nobody talking about him?
He is an Alleskönner - a player can do everything. He has almost a 6th-sense in positional awareness and a super-human ability to exploit space. He has a perfect first touch. He has a beautiful range of passing. His vision is extraordinary. He is lightning quick - to add to lightning acceleration. His general control and dribbling ability are perfect. He has a dazzling array of flicks and tricks. He even breaks up play & shields the ball well.
But it is his magical finishing that sets him apart. Primarily an attacking midfielder, he scored 1 in every 2 games in the Bundesliga last season (17 in 34.) His trademark is chipping goalkeepers with his magical left foot - but there were headers, half-volleys, first time passes into the net, what could only be described as Cruyff-turn goals, sweeping shots from the edge of the box & even a right-foot first time chip. Glorious.
I’ve long-held the belief that young German players aren’t fashionable to rate highly at first. They are rarely covered in England - before it’s too late & they win a World Cup.
He became the highest-scoring teenager in a single season, in the Bundesliga last year. The season before - the youngest to reach 50 appearances in the league.
Having only turned 20 a few months ago, the world really is at Kai’s feet.
Only this world is a football and we get to watch him make it go around.
Words by J.S. Leatherbarrow. Original photograph by Fuguito. Artwork by FATC staff - all rights reserved.