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Better than Havertz? Leverkusen chief speaks out amid Florian Wirtz’s links to Chelsea & Arsenal

Better than Havertz? Leverkusen chief speaks out amid Florian Wirtz’s links to Chelsea & Arsenal

Wirtz the latest Bundesliga wunderkind to draw attention

Bayer Leverkusen will once again be thrust into the limelight outside of Germany’s boarders thanks to the rising star that is Florian Wirtz.

The German wunderkind is a product of 1.FC Köln’s youth set up, and made the move to the BayArena in January 2020, before making his full debut for Die Werkself in May of the same year.

Just 18-years-old and having already been capped three times by the full national team, Wirtz has broken multiple records in the Bundesliga including becoming Leverkusen’s youngest-ever debutant, the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history (later broken by Youssoufa Moukoko), and the first to reach five goals before turning eighteen.

Leverkusen sporting director and ten-year former midfielder Simon Rolfes has now opened up about the growing interest in Wirtz – who has already smashed 4-goals and added 4-assists in just five appearances this season – during an interview with Stats Perform;

“He has a long contract until 2026. We do not have to sell players early. We want to develop him, develop our team and club with him.

So, there are rumours, okay. You cannot avoid that, but it’s not our goal to sell him. The players at one time or point in their career make the next step to world-class level, that’s okay for us, but not too early. He is a really young player.

That was also with Kai [Havertz] – he was also extraordinary and some years with us and then maybe there’s the next step. But not too early.”

Door left open for future departure

Of course, Bayern Munich have already logged interest in the midfield prodigy, and Premier League rivals Chelsea and Arsenal are also said to be interested in the Pulheim-native.

But Wirtz and his father/agent Hans-Joachim have recently weighed-in regarding his future and any potential destinations;

“Florian definitely wants to play a good role in Leverkusen for the next two years. What comes next is not yet known. His focus now is only on Bayer and the national team.”

An easy comparison can be made with current Chelsea midfielder and former Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz, with both players boasting tactical versatility as well as technical grace and goals from midfield.

Better than Havertz? Leverkusen chief speaks out amid Florian Wirtz’s links to Chelsea & Arsenal

DORTMUND, GERMANY – OCTOBER 11: Kai Havertz of Germany laughs during the Training Session And Press Conference on October 11, 2019 in Dortmund, Germany. Germany will play against Estonia in a during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier match on October 13, 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

But Wirtz has arguably had a bigger and more immediate impact at the BayArena, and should he remain at the club for another two years without jumping at the first big chance that comes up, there are few top clubs in Europe that will be unwilling to do battle for his services.


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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2 Liverpool FC 15 32 34
3 Chelsea FC 15 26 33
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6 Manchester United 15 1 24
7 Arsenal FC 15 -4 23
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 15 -1 21
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 15 -2 20
10 Aston Villa 15 -3 19
11 Leicester City 15 -4 19
12 Everton FC 15 -6 18
13 Brentford FC 15 -2 17
14 Crystal Palace 15 -2 16
15 Leeds United 15 -7 16
16 Southampton FC 15 -7 16
17 Watford FC 15 -9 13
18 Burnley FC 14 -7 10
19 Newcastle United 15 -13 10
20 Norwich City 15 -23 10

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 6
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 6
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 6
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 6
Raphinha Leeds United 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 6
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 5
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 5
King, Joshua Watford FC 5
Gray, Demarai Everton FC 5
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 5
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 5
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 5
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 5