• A1- Very good, could play higher
  • A2- Strong potential to play higher
  • B1- Good, strong player at level
  • B2- Potential to be strong player at level
  • C- Average for the level, rewatch
  • D- Below average, don’t follow up

Leverkusen went away to Rangers in the first leg of their quarter final tie in the Europa League, leaving with 3 away goals in a 1-3 win giving them an advantage for the second leg. Leverkusen were the better side overall ending the game with 65% possession and having almost triple the amount of shots on target (8-3).

Kai Havertz

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 20
  • DOB: 11/06/1999
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Right Midfield
  • Preferred Foot: Left

Havertz all game showcased his quality and it was clear to see he was a level above those around him. Demonstrating good technical ability when passing and receiving, especially under pressure being able to control the ball and move it on quickly and to a free teammate. Playing in a False 9 role, the young German was able to show his ability to drop deep and link up with his midfielders and wide players using flicks and little touches to combine with teammates and retain possession of the ball. By doing this he also showed his intelligence by identifying where the gaps were in the opposition shape for him to drop into and create overloads.

Standing at 6’2” tall he has the physique to be able to hold off opponents and progress his team up the field. A few times he also showcased his brilliant passing range, dropping deep to receive and playing a long ball to his wingers making runs in behind.

Captain of the club he’s been at since 11 at the age of 20, in a European competition away from home and having the confidence to step up and take a penalty, and slot it away calmly, shows bravery and confidence he has in his abilities. In this game he was the conductor for Leverkusen, everything they did went through him.

Rating – A1

The confidence, composure and quality he demonstrated in this game leads to signs of a potentially world class player. With reports linking him to Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern and other top European clubs it is clear that whoever wants him will have to pay north of €100m however he is definitely someone who could be one of the top midfielders for the next decade in German and European football.

Jonathan Tah

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 24
  • DOB: 11/02/1996
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: Hamburg (Y), Hamburger SV, F.Düsseldorf, Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Preferred Foot: Right
  • Height: 6’4”

One thing which stood out for me was Tah’s ability to step out of defence with the ball and play a forward pass either into the channels to the wingers or centrally to advanced midfielders. Playing on the right hand side of a back 3 gave him the license to do so and it helped Leverkusen create overloads in the middle of the park and gave the German options to showcase his passing range. Comfortable on both feet so he has no issues with playing a long or short pass with his left foot which shows how calm and composed he is, especially when he is required to play with his left foot when being pressed.

Standing at 6’4” tall it is not surprising that Tah is not the quickest, however he is by no means slow. Alongside his height he also has a big build which does slightly slow him down in terms of acceleration, however once he gets to full speed he can keep up with pretty much anyone due to his big strides. The short distance runs can be the issue sometimes, especially when he has to go wide to cover the full back and defend 1v1, he can sometimes be a bit too slow to close down the cross coming in.

Positionally he is very good and realises what spaces he needs to take up on the field, however at times he can lose concentration especially when defending in his own box. One scenario he let his runner run in behind him, and only a last ditch sliding clearance from himself stopped the runner having a tap in.

Rating – A1

Although he is already playing at a very good level at Leverkusen, I feel his reading of the game, passing ability and composure on the ball combined with his physique would allow him to make a step up to one of Europes elites. At 24 years of age he is at the perfect age for a club to sign him and let him develop into a top centre half.

Moussa Diaby

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 20
  • DOB: 07/07/1999
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: PSG (Y), Crotone (L), Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred Foot: Left

Diaby all game was a nuisance for his marker, constantly running in behind or dropping deep to drag his defender out of position. Using his pace and movement he was able to create space for himself and other teammates. He often would drift centrally to link up with Havertz and to create an overload in the midfield. One thing I think he struggled with was receiving the ball with his back to goal, he could have been a bit braver with his first touch and try to spin the defender and use his pace to get away from his marker.

Throughout the game he showed brilliant ball control when dribbling at a defender, often beating them with a drop of the shoulder and brilliant agility. However there were a few occasions where Diaby was pushed off the ball too easily, this is something which he will improve on as he gets older and grows physically. Another thing which will improve with experience is his instincts when he’s in the box, in one scenario the ball almost landed to him in the opposition box however he was not expecting it to get to him and therefore he missed out on an opportunity to shoot. This will help him score more goals, especially if he is deployed in central areas.

Rating – A2

A very raw player with lots of potential, staying at a club like Leverkusen where he will get game time is perfect for him for now however in a few seasons he will definitely be ready to make the step up to one of Europe’s top clubs.


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