How Kai Havertz would fit in at Manchester United

Manchester United’s interest in Kai Havertz has been reported by both the MEN and BILD over the past 24 hours.

Havertz is being sought in addition to Jadon Sancho, and the two players would take up the majority if not entirety of United’s transfer budget.

But even setting aside the finances for a moment, and let’s have a look at how it would play out on the pitch.

Where does Havertz fit in at United?

It is important to recognise Havertz’s versatility. He is a totally unique player, which makes him so attractive to potential buyers.

This is not a jack-of-all-trades Phil Neville or John O’Shea utility man. This is an elite attacker akin to Wayne Rooney who is talented and intelligent enough to excel in multiple positions.


If you are asked to put Havertz into United’s XI right now, there are three choices, and somebody big has to be left out.

Photo by Mike Kireev/MB Media/Getty Images

Up front

Havertz can play as a striker, and has done in recent weeks for Bayer Leverkusen.

In fact note that Havertz has seven goals in seven starts as a centre-forward.

The German then gives United the additional striker we need, even for when Odion Ighalo’s loan deal expires in 2021.

He would compete with Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood, while also being able to play alongside them in other positions if required.

Right wing

Havertz has made 10 starts this season as a right winger, and this is a position where United need more options.

If Jadon Sancho signs too, then Havertz will feature here a little less, but he will get his chances.

It may even suit United to rest Marcus Rashford on occasions and play Sancho on the left, and Havertz on the right. Having this flexibility is important.

Attacking midfielder

If Havertz was solely a central attacking midfielder, it would be a difficult sell to spend so much money on him, just after signing Bruno Fernandes.

It is clear that United need an alternative to Fernandes though, to rest him, and Havertz is as good as they come if looking for a plan B.

Why it makes sense to spend big on Havertz

If picking an XI and putting Havertz in, one of Fernandes, Martial or Sancho (if he signed) would have to drop out. That’s a really tough call.

Yet United’s lack of depth has been so badly exposed this season, and addressing it is important if we are going to compete, and not over-exert our top players.

A regular season with cup competitions means players are required to play nearly 60 games a season. United’s young squad cracked under these demands at the turn of the year when the likes of Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford broke down injured.

Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images

It is so important to have options, and if he signed, Havertz would start 40 plus games a season, whether that be up front, out wide, or in a deeper role.

Nobody quite knows how Anthony Martial will develop over the next two seasons, so it makes some sense to add a potentially world class alternative who can also contribute in other areas.

Whether it is feasible from a financial perspective, with Sancho too, remains to be seen, but from a sporting scenario, this deal can work.

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