Football

Kai Havertz should not rush to move to a top club like Liverpool

Bayer Leverkusen's rising star Kai Havertz underlined his credentials with a double in their 4-1 win over Werder Bremen yesterday morning (Singapore time), which helped his club stay in the hunt for a Champions League spot.

The 20-year-old midfielder has been linked with Europe's premier clubs since impressing with some eye-catching performances last year, including a 2-2 draw with Argentina in October, when he scored his first goal for Germany.

But former Germany internationals Jens Nowotny and Michael Ballack believe Havertz, who has been linked with clubs such as Liverpool and Chelsea, should not be in a hurry to move.

"He is on the way to becoming a world-class player. He has huge potential," Nowotny told Goal and Spox.

"Another year in Leverkusen would certainly not hurt him.

"For his personal development as a player and as a person, it would be good for him to be in an environment in which he feels comfortable - and that's the case in Leverkusen."

The next step in his fledgling career could be crucial, and Nowotny believes that while top managers might be able to improve Havertz further, the environment is also important.

Said Nowotny: "You need coaches like Juergen Klopp, Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho, who can take him further.

"On the other hand, such a coach also has to work for a club where he is allowed to develop."

Nowotny, who was part of Die Mannschaft squad that finished third at the 2006 World Cup, also does not think a move to German giants Bayern Munich would benefit Havertz.

"He could develop at Bayern Munich, but he would have to win his chance to play first and foremost," he said.

"That works better for some clubs than for others.

"For a young player, Borussia Dortmund may be better than Bayern Munich in terms of club and environment."

Nowotny's former international teammate and ex-Chelsea midfielder Ballack also believes Havertz should stay put for now.

"Players with his quality are in demand everywhere, but I think he's in good hands in Leverkusen," Ballack told Sport Bild.

Football