Kai Havertz is a big game player, his former coach admits

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Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz is expected to team up with Chelsea ahead of next season, with a deal close to being confirmed.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard isn’t just looking to strengthen his squad for the sake of numbers, but he’d want players with character who can turn up in the big games, as he was accustomed to during his hay days as a Chelsea player.

Ex-Turkey international Tayfyn Korkut and former Bayer Leverkusen manager – who managed a 17-year-old Havertz in the 2017/18 campaign – has hailed the mental strength of Kai Havertz, and he believes that the now 21-year-old can play in any game and has a big game mentality.

“This is possibly the most special thing about him, his mental power,” Korkut told Sky Sports.

“You will not see the difference in him whether he is playing against Ingolstadt or Real Madrid, whether he is playing to avoid relegation or win a championship. He will always plays the same and at a high level.

“Even at 17, he did not have ups and downs. It was not about the coach being brave, it was about the player.

“He gave me that feeling that he could play those big games and he could. He has this unbelievable mental strength. I do not know if it translates into English but he is like an ice man.

“When you watch him now, you cannot tell if he is under pressure. I don’t know what he is feeling inside but he does not show it and that is an important quality if you want to be one of the best.

“Playing for big clubs is different. It is about mental toughness. There are a lot of nice young players out there. But to play for the biggest clubs. To play for Bayern Munich, Manchester United or Chelsea, you need to have something more than just talent. This boy has that.

“It is not about being able to shoot fantastically well or because he can play the final pass, even though he can do those things. It is because of these mental qualities. That is the difference.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.