How Chelsea’s Kai Havertz ranked against Bundesliga rivals last season

TALLINN, ESTONIA - OCTOBER 13: Kai Havertz of Germany in action during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Estonia and Germany on October 13, 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia. (Photo by Mike Kireev/MB Media/Getty Images)
TALLINN, ESTONIA - OCTOBER 13: Kai Havertz of Germany in action during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Estonia and Germany on October 13, 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia. (Photo by Mike Kireev/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz has (self) admittedly had a rough start to Premier League football. How did he rank against Bundesliga rivals last season?

Kai Havertz is one of the hottest young prospects in world football. At only 21, Havertz has already set the stage on fire with his scintillating performances in the Bundesliga and champions league.

In this article, Havertz is compared to players who played in one of his three predominant positions: center forward, attacking midfield, and right attacking midfield. The data set* is for players in the Bundesliga for the 2019/20 season.

*Total 123 players for comparison after filtering for players who have played more than 15 games

A percentile ranking system is used to assess where Havertz ranked amongst players in his positions last season in the Bundesliga. This is done for a couple of key metrics that are important for an attacking player.

HavertzPercentile rank Postion (out of 123)
Pass accuracy 0.974th
Pass accuracy to penalty area0.948th
Final third passes per 90 accuracy 0.9210th
Passes per 900.912th
Non-Penalty goals 0.89510th
Deep completions per 900.8815th
Key passes per 900.8715th
Progressive runs per 900.8420th
Dribbles per 90 0.824th
Goal conversion rate0.79825th

The data clearly shows Havertz is an excellent passer of the ball and is also competent at dribbling and scoring goals. With a 97 percent pass accuracy, he ranked fourth in the Bundesliga last season. Having a high pass accuracy is not very indicative of a player’s creative threat and chance creation ability since it does not tell us about the type of pass being played. For example, a player playing a lot of short lateral/back safe passes could also have a high pass accuracy rate.

Havertz, however, does not have a high pass accuracy for “passing’s sake”, he also ranks high for metrics such as key passes per 90 and deep completions per 90 which tell us more of the player’s ability to create chances and be a creative threat.

For key passes per 90 Havertz ranks 15th. A key pass is defined as a pass that immediately creates a clear goal-scoring opportunity for a teammate who in turn fails to score.

In terms of an absolute number, he was making about 0.77 key passes per 90. Notable players who ranked above him include Thomas Muller (1.76), Jadon Sancho(1.09) and Chelsea’s other signing Timo Werner(0.95). Considering he played in a weaker side compared to them, ranking this high is commendable. He outperformed the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski and 108 other players who played in the same positions.

Another important metric for which Havertz ranked high is the deep completions per 90 which are  non-cross passes that are targeted to the zone within 20 meters of the opponent’s goal.

For this metric, he also ranked 15th in the Bundesliga last season. In terms of an absolute number that was 1.79 deep completions per 90. The leagues best was Muller at 3.37 per 90 followed by Sancho at 3.21. Other notable players who ranked above him include Kingsley Koman (2.78), Serge Gnabry(2.39), former teammate Julian Brandt(2.27), Werner(2.24), and Lewandoski (1.84). Again, most players who had better numbers played in much stronger attacking sides (predominantly Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund).

Havertz is also a goal-scoring threat, ranking 10th in the league with 17 non-penalty goals. Further, he is also an adept dribbler ranking 24th in the league with around 5.22 dribbles per 90. This is actually a really high number, however, it is ranked relatively low as the Bundesliga has players that attempt a ridiculous number of dribbles per 90. For instance, Koman who ranks first on this metric, attempted 9.26 dribbles per 90 on average last season.

HavertzPercentile rank Position( out of 123)
Final third passes per 900.7333rd
Shots on target 0.6642nd
Shots per 90 0.6346th
Crosses per 900.4469th
Passes to peanlty area per 900.4468th

He also ranked 8th and 10th respectively for accurate passes to the penalty area per 90 and accurate final third passes per 90. However, as the table above shows, he ranked low for volume of passes per 90 to the final third and to the penalty area. This means that while his accuracy for passes into the penalty area was high, the number of passes he attempted in these areas was relatively low.

Considering he is more of an inside forward who makes runs cutting into the center from the right, it is expected that he does not rank very high for crosses per 90. He also ranks quite low for shots per 90 and shots on target, but this is also due to the fact that he is being compared to center forwards in the league. In reality, he didn’t play a majority of his games upfron,t so it is quite normal for him to not be in the top 20 for these metrics. That being said, he still scored 17 goals in the seasons which speaks to his efficiency in front of goal.

The data tell us is Havertz is really good at what he does. He seems to be a jack of all trades and a master of some. At only 21, he is able to stand tall amongst Germany’s best. However, the data does not tell us a full story. It does not account for things like his technical and physical attributes. Further, it does not tell us about his most important asset – his footballing intelligence. To get an idea Havertz beyond the data refer to this article that goes in-depth into the types of goals he scores, positional awareness, movement and much more.

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All data is from Wyscout. All graphs are creations of Siddhanth Khanvilkar.