Kai Havertz has revealed he idolised Frank Lampard as a player as he explained the role the Chelsea boss played in convincing him to sign.
Havertz has become Chelsea’s sixth new arrival of an astonishing transfer window, signing for £72million plus add-ons following one of the big transfer sagas of the summer.
The 21-year-old left his Germany teammates on Friday to fly to London and complete his switch from Bayer Leverkusen, penning a five-year deal.
And the attacking midfielder said Lampard’s success as a player – as well as his promising early start to life as a manager – had played a big part in persuading him to ignore interest from the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid.
“Of course he had a big impact on my decision because I loved him as a player and watched him very often,” said Havertz after he was confirmed as a Chelsea player.
“And I think I can learn from him as a manager as well.
“I think he’s a very humble person, a very great guy, and I can’t wait to play with him and learn from him.”
Havertz scored 18 goals in 45 games last season for a Leverkusen side who finished fifth in the Bundesliga.
And as goalscoring midfielders go, he could learn from none better than Lampard.
Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time record scorer with 211 strikes from 648 games, and can count the Champions League, Europa League, three Premier League titles and FA Cups among his trophy haul with the club.
The 42-year-old former England star made a solid start to his career as Chelsea manager, securing Champions League qualification and guiding his side to the FA Cup final during his first season in charge.
And the club’s summer signings certainly signal an intent to improve on that.
As well as Havertz, Chelsea have signed striker Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, while left-back Ben Chilwell recently completed his move from Leicester and winger Hakim Ziyech signed from Ajax several months ago.
Thiago Silva joined on a free having left PSG, and fellow his centre-half Malang Sarr also signed but was sent straight out on loan to gain experience.
Meanwhile, Havertz will thrive under Lampard’s tutelage, according to the Chelsea manager’s ex-teammate Michael Ballack.
“I firmly believe that Lampard would be 100 per cent behind Havertz,” the former Germany star told Bild last month.
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“He likes players who are very dangerous in front of goal and there aren’t many of those.
“Havertz is a player that Lampard would help further develop, not least because he himself was a midfielder with an eye for goal, who was always moving into dangerous areas, looking to finish off a chance.”