Though Werner and Havertz have not often been on the pitch at the same time, they have lined up alongside each other for Germany.
Were Chelsea able to seal a deal for Kai Havertz this summer, Frank Lampard would go into next season with two of Germany’s most exciting talents at his disposal.
Chelsea have already signed Timo Werner for around £53million on the back of a season in which he scored 34 goals for RB Leipzig. Havertz, meanwhile, has 17 goals for the campaign and could cost anything up to £90m.
While the two transfers together would represent an absolutely brain-melting outlay, there’s little doubt that Werner and Havertz would transform Chelsea’s prospects. What’s more, at 24 and 21 years of age respectively, they are still nowhere near their theoretical peak.
Both of them would expect to slot straight into the starting line-up, however, which could pose an interesting conundrum for Lampard. Despite being teammates at international level, Werner and Havertz have not often graced the pitch at the same time.
That said, there are a select few games that might hold the clues as to how Werner and Havertz could work together at Chelsea. Here’s what Lampard can learn from their joint outings for Germany.
In what Chelsea fans will hope is an echo of the future, Werner and Havertz are unbeaten in games where they have appeared alongside one another. Germany aren’t often beaten, mind, so that’s not necessarily that meaningful.
Werner actually made way for Havertz when the latter made his international debut against Peru in September 2018. They featured for 65 minutes together against Russia two months later as Germany ran out 3-0 winners, with Havertz providing an assist for Serge Gnabry.
They also started together in a 1-1 draw against Serbia in March 2019, though Havertz was substituted at half-time with Germany trailing.
Havertz’s only taste of defeat at international level came against the Netherlands last September. He replaced Werner in that game, however, hence their unbeaten run together continued.
They also featured alongside each other as Germany won 3-0 against Estonia the following month, with Havertz playing the full 90 minutes and Werner coming on for the last half an hour. Havertz got another assist in that game, a lucky ricochet teeing up Ilkay Gundogan for the opener, while Werner scored late on after Gundogan sent him through.
Glimmers of excellence
While they haven’t played many games together, then, Werner and Havertz have shown occasional glimpses of what they might offer in the same starting line-up. Though they have never assisted each other at international level, they have shown that they can work well together in the same side.
Against Estonia, for instance, Havertz played a slightly deeper role than he is used to, while Werner came on for Luca Waldschmidt up front. Lampard could imitate that set-up, with Havertz as the creative hub in central midfield and Werner at the heart of his front three.
When they started together against Russia, Havertz was used in a more familiar attacking midfield role directly behind Werner. The prospect of Werner starting up front for Chelsea with Havertz running off him – not to mention teeing him up with a steady supply of through-balls – should be enough to give most Premier League defenders the sweats.
The fact that Werner has regularly been subbed off for Havertz at international level is also telling, not least given that Havertz has often been used as a centre-forward himself this season.
One of Havertz’s great strengths is his flexibility, with Bayer Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz using him as a central midfielder, a second striker, a wide attacker and a forward this term. Joachim Loew has done much the same, trialling him in various positions across the attack.
With Werner also comfortable when deployed slightly deeper as a second striker, he and Havertz could look to establish positional fluidity in the same starting line-up.
That could be the answer to Lampard’s conundrum: let the two of them swap and interchange so that defenders don’t know what’s hit them.