While the likes of Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson are marking out the Bundesliga as the place to be for Europe’s hottest youngsters looking to move abroad and crack big time, the German top flight is still providing the same platform to its impressive collection home-grown talent.
And few are as impressive as Leverkusen wonderkid Kai Havertz, the honour student among Germany’s latest graduating class.
In October 2016, the now 19-year-old became the club's youngest ever Bundesliga debutante at the age of 17 years and 126 days, and he’s shown remarkable progression ever since.
It was a reminder that Leverkusen have the most precocious of young talents on their hands. "I’ve never seen such a complete player at his age," said club captain Lars Bender.
"What he brings to the pitch in terms of play-making, technique and mentality is tremendous," added Germany international and Leverkusen class-mate Julian Brandt. “He’s so talented he has the right stuff to become a world star.”
He hit an impressive four goals in the first 15 league appearances of his career, but the smart-passing playmaker who likes to work between the lines quickly became better known for creating goals than scoring them.
Havertz etched his name into the record books once again when he set up Karim Bellarabi for the 50,000th goal of the Bundesliga, and then became the fastest player to 10 assists in the league’s history. Havertz was also the youngest player ever to make 50 top-flight appearances in Germany.
The Aachen-born midfielder stands at over 6”2’-tall and cites another left-footed schemer, Mesut Ozil, as his idol. "He has always been a player whom I love to watch and someone whose path I have followed,” Haverz told Spox. "Mesut Ozil is a really great player, who has done a lot for the national team and also his clubs."
Capped by Germany for the first time this year, Havertz is doing a lot for his club, too. Ahead of the Christmas period, no player has made more than his 16 league appearances for Leverkusen this term and only Kevin Volland (5) has bettered the youngster’s goal return (4).
He’s made a club-high 1.6 dribbles per game and has averaged 0.7 key passes per outing, leading a dynamic and young side that remain one of the most exciting in Germany.
Havertz, though, is taking it all in his stride. "I've always been brought up to keep my feet on the ground," he said.
"I learned from my parents that arrogance and snootiness are not desirable qualities. Why should a footballer be any different to anybody else?”
Kai Havertz, though, is different. And with the humility to compliment his remarkable talent, it won’t be too long before that becomes abundantly clear.