With a new era set to dawn after Joachim Low’s tenure, the attacker is ready to stake a claim for a particular spot with his successor
Kai Havertz says that he would be keen to fulfil the central striker role within the Germany national team that new boss Hansi Flick is reportedly eyeing him up for.
The Chelsea forward has primarily played behind the lead attacker during his club career to date, though he has occupied the role for both the Blues and old club Bayer Leverkusen at points.
Now, speaking ahead of Germany’s first clutch of games under Flick following Joachim Low’s exit, the 22-year-old has reaffirmed his affection for the position and believes that he can thrive in the spot if placed there.
What has been said?
“I can take on that role,” Havertz told Bild when asked whether he could fulfil such a position in the national setup. “I’ve already played as a central striker at Leverkusen, one time or another at Chelsea.
“I don’t yet know how Hansi Flick will line up. I like the position as a centre-forward in the box, in the penalty area, to push into the front aggressively, to score goals.
“That would be a position I would like. I’m really looking forward to the first course with Hansi Flick at the end of August and beginning of September. I don’t see any problem in the position.”
Havertz hopeful of Qatar 2022 turnaround
Since their triumph at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Germany had been in steady decline under Low, culminating in the embarrassment of a group stage exit at Russia 2018.
While they managed to reach the knockout stages of this summer’s rearranged Euro 2020, they were downed in the last-16 by eventual finalists England. But under new management, Havertz does not see why they cannot reverse their fortunes in time for Qatar 2022 next year.
“The past few years have not been positive. That’s why a lot has to change,” he added. “Nevertheless, we are all convinced that we have a very good team with great players.
“We have initiated a change in the past few years, many players have come up. That benefited me. We have to find our old strength of building a certain winning mentality game after game, month after month.
“It is a long way to go to win the 2022 World Cup, but no one doubts the quality and breadth of the squad. We can make our way back to the top of the world.”
The bigger picture
Havertz will get his first taste of Germany under Flick if he features in next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein, Armenia and Iceland.
Before then, however, he will be out to ensure that Chelsea maintain their sterling start to the new season, after they backed up their Super Cup triumph with victory over Crystal Palace on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season.
They face another test of their credentials next against London rivals Arsenal, who were stung by newly-promoted Brentford in a shock loss in their curtain-raiser clash.