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Michael Ballack: 'Kai Havertz is not yet a finished product'

By Laura Brandt

Kai Havertz is an exciting prospect, but 'is not yet a finished product', says Michael Ballack.

Kai Havertz.
Kai Havertz.Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz has been tipped for a summer move, with some of Europe's biggest clubs understood to be interested in acquiring his services.

Having racked up 43 goals and 30 assists in 143 appearances for Leverkusen at the age of just 20, Havertz has already come a long way, but former German international Michael Ballack still feels he has plenty of room for improvement.

"He's very talented, has outstanding technical ability and plays very freely," Ballack said in an interview with Sport1.

"But one thing is clear: Havertz is not yet a finished product," he added.

"I don't mean that in a negative way, but I still see potential for improvement in his personality development and body language. But that's completely normal at his age. He has to learn to deal with the responsibility of being a captain. His playing style has always been very carefree. When he loses the ball, he sometimes stops. At a top club, this will be more difficult and will no longer be accepted in the same way."

With Leverkusen still hopeful of keeping Havertz for another season, the youngster must now decide if he wants to stay put or take the next step in his career.

"He has to keep in mind that he's in an exceptional position in Leverkusen. He should now ask himself: How long do I want to do this? How long will I enjoy it? Or will I take on the next challenge with even greater demands on my game this summer? It is decisive what Havertz demands of himself and his team and where his own path should lead. In any case, he has to be mentally ready for a transfer," said Ballack.

Havertz's contract with Leverkusen runs until 2022.

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