Kai Havertz: A Physical Nightmare

24 May

Kai Havertz is an absolute baller. At 20 years old, he’s one of the best players in the Bundesliga, and one of the most promising young players in Europe. We all know how gifted he is with the ball at his feet. From a technical and tactical perspective, there is literally nothing he can’t do. But what about the physical side of his game? In this article, I’ll break down all the components of his physical game, and explain how each helps him play at a world class level.

Center Midfield:

Kai started his career as a key player in center midfield. He’s played in roles as both a box-to-box midfielder, and as a traditional playmaker- both of which require incredible stamina. In addition, he’s strong on the ball, and although he’s not the type to make a crushing tackle, he can certainly has the strength to hold his own while going for a 50-50 ball.

Winger:

Kai can also play out wide on both the left and right wings. A big part of his success on the flanks is his blistering pace. At first glance you. many not notice it, but he’s actually sneaky quick. He recently clocked a top speed of 35.02 km/h, making him one of the fastest players in the Bundesliga. His pace is on par with players such as Erling Haaland and Virgil Van Dijk.

Center Forward:

More recently, Kai has been playing up front for Bayer Leverkusen, which requires a slightly different physical skillset depending on his role as a striker. He has the agility to needed to shake defenders as a false 9. He’s got the strength on the ball to hold off defenders as a hold-up striker, and at a height of 6’2 (1.88m) he can finish a cross at any height. To top it all off, he’s got the blistering pace to just blow past any defender on the counter. He’s an absolute nightmare for any center back, and his physical game is a big part of it.

Havertz vs Ozil:

Overall, Kai Havertz is a complete package. He’s got the technical, and tactical ability to play 5 positions at world class level, and his physical abilities are (partly) what allow him to express these traits. I think this really stands out when you compare him to a player like Mesut Ozil. When you look at both of them, there’s absolutely nothing they can’t do with the ball at their feet.

However, Ozil can only play one position (the 10) at a world class level, partly due to his physical limitations. He doesn’t have the speed to play out wide, the stamina to play box to box, or the strength to hold the ball as a forward or false 9. Kai Havertz doesn’t have these limitations, which allows him to express his talents in all areas of the pitch.

Takeaways:

I think many young players can learn from the versatility of Kai Havertz. Not everyone is born with the natural talent he clearly has, but everyone can improve their speed, strength, stamina, and agility. Improving these aspects of your game will not only make you a better player physically, but will allow you to express your technical and tactical gifts more effectively over a period of 90 minutes. So get to work!