When Borussia Dortmund take on Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, two of the Bundesliga’s young stars will face off against one another in Kai Havertz and Jadon Sancho.
Donning the yellow of Dortmund will be English excitement machine Sancho, last season’s top assist-maker in the Bundesliga with 14 and already with three goals and three assists to his name so far in 2019/20.
Battle of the Bundesliga’s brilliant youngsters: Jadon Sancho v Kai Havertz
There is no denying he is one of the league’s best players right now, but could he be upstaged by another outstanding talent in the red of Leverkusen?
Considering he is far from an out-and-out striker, Havertz’s 17-goal haul in the Bundesliga was quite remarkable – and it certainly was not a case of quantity without quality as he netted some sublime strikes.
From the time he became Leverkusen’s youngest debutant in the league on October 15, 2016 – at the age of 17 years and 126 days – Havertz has looked destined for stardom and he has only edged closer to fulfilling his immense potential with each passing season.
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And, despite last term’s free-scoring ways, the now 20-year-old could play an even more-pivotal role for Die Werkself in the 2019/20 campaign.
After opening the campaign in his customary right forward position, Havertz spent the last two Bundesliga matches deployed in a more central role as the most offensive of coach Peter Bosz’s midfield trio in front of Charles Aranguiz and Kerem Demirbay.
So, while he only has one league goal to show for his efforts so far this season, this has been down to a tactical shuffle – one that actually allows him to exert more influence on proceedings.
Of course, it is never easy following in the footsteps of a genuine star in Julian Brandt, whom Leverkusen will be coming up against on Saturday following his move to Dortmund in the summer.
Attacking pass masters of the season so far 👁️
Jadon Sancho – 88.0%
Kai Havertz – 87.8%
Ondrej Duda – 85.9%
Amine Harit – 85.7%
% = successful passes from open play pic.twitter.com/3zHnlfAvbr
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) September 7, 2019
But with his skill, technical ability and vision, Havertz has all the required attributes to step up as his team’s next playmaker-in-chief.
Given how Havertz and Sancho are both precocious talents that are gifts to the Bundesliga, it is perhaps unnecessary to weigh them up against one another yet the temptation to compare will always be there when both are promising to attain world-class status in the future.
For now, however, whichever of the Bundesliga’s two brightest talents rises to the occasion better on Saturday could just decide if Leverkusen or Dortmund come away with the three points at the Signal Iduna Park.