Ahead of Germany’s UEFA Nations League clash with Hungary in Leipzig this evening, Kai Havertz has been reflecting on a change in the dug-out at club level and his first impressions of new Chelsea head coach Graham Potter.
The 23-year-old and his Die Mannschaft team-mates are putting the final touches to their preparations for the World Cup in Qatar, which kicks off in less than two months’ time and where they will be hoping to do better than four years ago when they crashed out in the group stage.
This final international break before the tournament sees them take on Hungary and then England at Wembley next week in Nations League Group A3, but before then Havertz has been discussing the arrival of Potter at Stamford Bridge and his own changing role in the Blues team.
‘Our new coach has made a very good impression,’ he said this week. ‘We have a great squad and I think we are in for a good time.
‘My position is not that important to me,’ he explained about his versatility in attack. ‘Of course, it's a bit harder for me as the number 10 because I've actually only played centre-forward at Chelsea for the past year-and-a-half and those are two completely different roles.
‘Whether I play in the number 10, nine or on the right flank, I want to help the team and justify the coach's trust. I can put myself in any position.’
Now into his third season in SW6, Havertz reflects on his move from Bayer Leverkusen with great pride having helped the team to continental and global glory, while also developing individually.
‘Moving to Chelsea was the best thing I could have done,’ he continued. ‘In these two years, I have fulfilled my childhood dream.
‘It was very good for me to get out of Germany, to experience something new and to adopt the way of playing in England.
‘It’s very different from what I got to know and love when I was young and turned professional at Leverkusen. I’m really enjoying it and I feel like I have made a big leap forward in England.’
Returning to national team matters, the forward is targeting top spot in the group and a place in the Nations League finals next summer, with Germany currently trailing leaders Hungary by a single point. Under Hansi Flick, the side are unbeaten since a 2-0 defeat to England at the Euro 2020 finals.
‘We have the clear goal of winning the group and thus reaching the final four in June,’ added Havertz. ‘Then it's about a title, and as a footballer you want to take everything you can with you.
‘A streak of 13 games without defeat, like the one we've had, is of course good for us because you can feel that the new beginning is bearing fruit. If we play the next two games like this, it can give us a lot of self-confidence for the tournament.’