As I was killing time last night waiting for the Phillies-Red Sox game to start, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed hoping to see something funny or some seriously awesome Bayern Munich news — like learning that Joshua Kimmich had regrown his mustache. Unfortunately, I stumbled upon this gem from Sport Bild chief Christian Falk, whose “Flex” sorcery was in full force:
Our Story: negotiations between @bayer04_en and @ChelseaFC for @kaihavertz29 started in the middle of last week. Havertz will become the most expensive German player of all time @SPORTBILD @AxelHesse1— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) August 18, 2020
Then, our buddy Manuel Veth flushed out the Sport Bild story with this gem:
So for the next half day or so, I’ve been sitting around and just waiting for “Flex Master Falk” to work his magic. Sure enough, Falk’s fr-enemy, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, provided just the right tweet to “Flex” on:
First impression: despite his extreme talent, that seems like a lot for Havertz.
In full disclosure, I felt it was imperative for Bayern Munich to secure both Timo Werner and Kai Havertz this summer, but apparently I should be writing for We Ain’t Got No History instead of this fine site, since my offseason plans seemed to mesh more with those “blokes.”
Anyway, it has seemed inevitable that Havertz would end up at Stamford Bridge. In fact, Chelsea is the only team that has been closely linked to the rising star since Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sané-induced exit from the sweepstakes went down earlier this summer. All of that makes it even more crazy that Chelsea seems to be dumping so much cash into a player during these “unprecedented times.”
Will Havertz make them better? Absolutely. Is Havertz a future mega-star? I believe so. How Havertz acclimatizes himself at Stamford Bridge, however, and how he integrates with players like Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Tammy Abraham is less certain. England is not the easiest place to break through and it certainly is not the most patient place for a young core of players to meld together. Making the Blues better, however, won’t be good enough for Havertz. He’ll be paid like a club savior: that hefty contract will come with major pressure to perform.
Still, it’s an exciting idea to try ... if you have that kind of money to play with. Certainly, Chelsea does.
And let’s be real, this critique has nothing to do with Havertz’s talent or ability, but mostly with the brazen financial gamble that Chelsea is making and the inherent risk that comes with trying to build around a core of young players like Havertz, Werner, Pulisic, etc. For the record, I actually like this new core group for Chelsea, but man, it will be a nuclear bomb-level implosion if things don’t work out.
As for the Bayern Munich spin on this, the timing — and finances — to pull off moves for either Werner and/or Havertz just were not right. Robert Lewandowski (31) and Thomas Müller (30) are playing at a ridiculously high level right now and have not shown any signs of slowing down despite their respective ages. Maybe a spell in the Premier League is not the worst thing for the two young and hungry German international players, who still could still eventually find themselves in a Bayern Munich shade of red some time in the middle of this decade.
Werner is just 24 and has a five-year deal, while Havertz will still only be 26 when his expected deal with Chelsea expires — i.e. as old as Corentin Tolisso is now. Crazier things have happened ... am I right?
Ok, who put Back to the Future music to this? pic.twitter.com/YwtjZSaHQd— Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) August 18, 2020
In the end, a €100 million transfer fee and a €100 million salary over five years are the standards that Havertz will be judged by in England. It seems a tad high when the global economy is a Jeff Bezos sneeze away from totally collapsing, but who in their right mind would turn away that kind of loot? Definitely not Bayer Leverkusen or Havertz himself.
So, good luck in England to the “Ambiguously Blue Duo” of Havertz and Werner!
I’m excited to see how this experiment plays out under Frank Lampard. Get some worldly experience, stay healthy, and we’ll see you back in Germany when I’m assuredly 10 pounds heavier and 10 times more bitter.
PROST!...Err, KNEES UP, MATE!