Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz – but how would he fit into their midfield three?
We’ve compared Havertz’s 2019-20 stats from the Bundesliga campaign to the corresponding Premier League stats of Liverpool’s existing central midfield options: Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, James Milner, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Fabinho has been excluded as he tends to sit in front of the back four and it’s important to note that Keita and Lallana have both played less than 400 minutes this season.
Havertz has registered eight goals and five assists in 23 Bundesliga appearances to date at a rate of a goal or assist every 149.6 minutes. match tally
Henderson has been Liverpool’s most productive midfielder this season, contributing three goals and five assists at a rate of one every 236.3. minutes.
Milner saw the next-highest return with two goals and two assists from midfield, directly contributing to a goal every 190 minutes.
Oxlade-Chamberlain (three goals assists at one every 370 minutes), Keita (one goal and one assist at one every 184 minutes), Lallana (one goal and one assist at one every 187 minutes) and Wijnaldum (three goals at one every 777.3 minutes) also trail Havertz.
It should probably be pointed out that Havertz normally plays in a more advanced role and has more creative freedom than the Liverpool midfielders.
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Havertz’s five assists have come as a result of him creating an average of 2.4 chances per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga this season.
That places him ahead of Liverpool’s current options. Keita is not too far behind behind with 2.0 chances created per 90, followed by Henderson (1.2), Oxlade-Chamberlain (1.1), Lallana (1.0), Milner (0.9) and Wijnaldum (0.4).
The German midfielder has a pass success rate of 86.8%, a slight improvement on Oxlade-Chamberlain (83.1%), Henderson (84.5%), Lallana (85.7%) and Milner (86.7%).
Wijnaldum comes out on top in this respect, with a pass success rate of 90.9%, marginally higher than Keita’s 88.9%.
In terms of dribbling, Keita leads the way with 2.7 successful dribbles per 90 minutes at a success rate of 79.4%.
Havertz is in second place with 2.4 successful dribbles per 90 minutes at a lower success rate of 50%.
This is then followed by Oxlade-Chamberlain (1.9 at 57.5%), Wijnaldum (1.3 at 56.5%), Milner (0.9 at 100%), Henderson (0.7 at 58.3%) and Lallana (0.5 at 41.6%).
Jurgen Klopp expects his midfielders to help out defensively and it may be an area Havertz would have to work on if he were to move to Liverpool.
The 20-year-old isn’t renowned for his defensive work-rate and has only made 0.6 tackles per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga this season.
Lallana (4.6), Keita (3.9), Henderson (2.6), Milner (1.4), Oxlade-Chamberlain (1.1), Wijnaldum (1.0) all record higher averages than Havertz in this regard.
Havertz also finds himself at the bottom of the pile in terms of interceptions. His record of 0.1 per 90 minutes is bettered by Milner (0.6), Wijnaldum (0.6), Henderson (1.1), Lallana (1.2), Oxlade-Chamberlain (1.4) and Keita (1.5).