Kai Havertz had long attracted interest from Real Madrid and Bayern Munich but ended up at Chelsea, along with four other big signings in a £200m ($252m) transfer market splurge.
Indeed, Havertz says that he has always followed Chelsea closely and is glad to follow in fellow former Germany international and Leverkusen star Michael Ballack’s footsteps.
Michael Ballack Frank Lampard Chelsea
“It’s a dream come true, and now I have to work hard and do my best for the club,” Havertz continued. “Michael Ballack was a very, very big player, he also played for Leverkusen and Bayern Munich.
“He was also the hero of course when I was younger, and he played for Chelsea as well. I liked him as a player very much, he played in my position and he was a midfield player who wanted to score a lot of goals.
“I think, of course, I try to score goals as well, like him and he was always a very big player for me. But I’ve never spoken to him. I’m thankful to play in a club where he played as well. The coach has a big impact on my decision, but I think for me I’ve loved Chelsea my whole life.
“I always watched the team as a kid, so it was not a very tough decision for me. For me, it was always important that a club comes to me or my agent and says ‘you are the player, we want you, we’ll do everything for you, please come to us’.
“That was the first thing that came in mind when I decided for a new club. For me, Chelsea’s a very big club and I’m very grateful and thankful to be here now. I’ll try to do my best to make everybody happy.
“But of course in the last year we had some conversations with other clubs as well, I think that’s normal, but in the end, Chelsea gave me everything. It’s a big project here, I love to play with young players as well.
“Of course, it’s a few games to play good football, but of course I’m looking forward to that as I’m only here seven days now. I think it will be good in the next few weeks and months.”
Having only had a taste of what Havertz is about, Chelsea next face Liverpool where the German star will hope to make an impact in his first game at Stamford Bridge. It is a spectacle that Havertz can’t wait to be part of, facing off against the world-famous manager Jurgen Klopp and his league champion side.
“When you watch football as a kid you always dream to play in a stadium like Stamford Bridge,” he concluded before talking about Klopp and his side. “I think he’s [Klopp] hungry and he wants to win more titles, and I think that’s the reason why we have to play our best football on Sunday because it will be a very hard game for us.
“For them as well, because I think we have a very good team and maybe Monday was not our best game but the most important thing is to win the games and we did it on Monday and we’ll try our best to win on Sunday as well.”