Liverpool are reportedly in the mix to sign Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Kai Havertz, but would need to fend off stiff competition if they are to land his signature.
The print edition of German publication SportBild reported [via Sport Witness] that the Reds are in the “fight” for the 20-year-old, along with Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
According to SportBild [via Sport Witness], Havertz is valued at more than €100m (£88.76m) by his club, adding that it is “open” for the player to decide which club he wants to join if he wishes to move on from Bayer Leverkusen.
He has scored 30 goals and provided 22 assists for his club, an average of 0.27 goals and 0.2 assists per game, with two goals in his first six matches of this season. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
He ended the 2018/19 campaign with 20 goals from 42 appearances (0.48 per game). That was a better ratio than Roberto Firmino’s 16 in 48 matches (0.33 per game) and he scored more goals on his own than all of Liverpool’s midfielders combined last season – James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson managed just 17 between them.
Goals from midfield remain at a premium for the Reds – in eight matches so far in 2019/20, all of their goals have come from forwards or defenders. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
While Havertz has played mainly as an attacking midfielder in his career, he has also operated as a right winger and central midfielder on occasions, testifying to his adaptability. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
However, Jurgen Klopp rarely plays with a central attacking midfielder in his preferred 4-3-3 line-up, with the Reds using that formation in every match since the 3-0 loss at Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final first leg last season. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
The last time before then that Klopp deviated from 4-3-3 was three months previously against Leicester, suggesting that he is generally wedded to that setup. Therefore, signing Havertz would mean either a change of formation to accommodate him, a deviation from his usual attacking midfield role or a regular place on the substitutes’ bench.
If Havertz does end up at Liverpool, it would present Klopp with a tactical conundrum at one level, but it would also present the manager with greater flexibility to change things up whenever needed.
The Reds’ goal return from the midfield areas has been appalling in recent months and the only central attacking midfielder currently in their squad is Adam Lallana, who has played 15 minutes all season and not scored since the final day of the 2016/17 campaign.
Something would have to give if Havertz joins Liverpool, but the Reds seem in great need of a player like him who can offer goals from midfield and reduce the scoring burden on the forwards – 75% of their goals this season have come from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah or Firmino.
Liverpool fans, would Havertz be a good fit at Anfield or would he upset the balance of the team if he joined? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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