This week Kai Havertz returns to London aiming to make exciting new memories in the city he has called home for the past 10 months.
Since joining from Bayer Leverkusen, Havertz’s time in the English capital so far has contained its fair share of high and lows. Probably the worst moment was contracting Covid-19 and suffering badly from it in the autumn, and, well, nobody needs reminding what the pinnacle of Kai’s Chelsea career has been so far!
As he reflected on his time in London in the build-up to England v Germany at Wembley tomorrow, the impact the virus had on him stands out.
It must also not be forgotten he moved country in the midst of a global pandemic. That is one of the reasons why he hasn’t had much opportunity to fully ingratiate himself in English culture and the city he calls home now, but he is hopeful of doing that as restrictions ease here and life slowly returns to normal.
‘The illness hit me hard,’ Kai reflected at a press conference yesterday.
‘It lasted some four to five weeks before I could even think of getting back on to a football pitch. During the time I was ill, I was quite ill, to be honest. And I wish it upon absolutely no one.
‘Then the aftermath was difficult, too. I really had to work hard to get back to the pre-Covid fitness levels. You have to live with it.
‘I haven't really explored London a lot or as much as I would have liked to,’ added the 22-year-old.
‘It really is difficult to do anything in terms of leisure activities. Every three days you have an important match coming up, so there is precious little time to go sightseeing or go for a meal.
‘It looks a bit bleak but that's the way it is. You come home from training and are happy about every hour that you can spend inside your own flat.
‘I do hope that later, London will give me much more joy, and I'll have many, many good London experiences.’