Ralf Rangnick: Kai Havertz is the modern-day Johan Cruyff
Ralf Rangnick believes it is “only a matter of time” before the Premier League learns the devastating potential of Kai Havertz, comparing Chelsea’s new £76m signing to the legendary Johan Cruyff.
Chelsea travel to The Hawthorns on Saturday to face West Brom, live on Sky Sports, and Havertz will be expecting to start having scored his first hat-trick in professional football in the 6-0 Carabao Cup win over Barnsley in midweek.
Speaking on The Football Show, former RB Leipzig head coach and sporting director Ragnick believes Chelsea have secured a significant signing this summer, paying Havertz the highest compliment by drawing comparisons to former Netherlands, Barcelona and Ajax great Cruyff.
“I have no doubts whatsoever that he will become a sustainable success and that he will become one of the top players in the next two or three years,” Ragnick told Sky Sports.
“Maybe, he will need a couple of weeks to get adjusted because he has a fantastic family background – I know that because I was also trying to convince him to join us at Leipzig but he was completely dedicated to Bayer Leverkusen.
“He’s one of those players where I don’t see any weaknesses in his game. He’s the type of modern Johan Cruyff – he can score goals and he can provide assists.
“He can play as a nine or nine-and-a-half. I don’t see him as a winger but in the central area of the pitch, he’s extremely valuable. I have no doubt that this transfer will prove to be a success story for Chelsea and for Kai.
“His best position is either a No 10 or in a 4-3-3, he can play as one of the two offensive No 8s in midfield. He’s very versatile and almost the complete offensive midfielder with a complete 360-degree radar to score goals and provide assists.
“It’s only a question of time for the whole league to see what kind of player Chelsea have signed.”
Timo Werner was signed from Leipzig this summer, and Ragnick has known the striker since he was a 16-year-old playing for the youth team at Stuttgart.
“He became a regular first-team player for Stuttgart at the age of 17,” Ragnick added. “When they were relegated from the Bundesliga four years ago, we won promotion the same summer so for me it was very obvious to try to convince him to join us. With his outstanding pace and goal ratio he was the perfect fit into our style of football.
“We managed to convince him to come to us and I told him he would become a Germany international within two years, which is what happened. He averaged almost 20 goals a season and the step to Chelsea makes sense as a result of their new pathway to rely on young highly talented players