Hakim Ziyech is willing to play wherever Chelsea boss Frank Lampard needs him after enduring a frustrating start to his career at Stamford Bridge.

The Moroccan playmaker has yet to start a game for the Blues since arriving from Ajax, though he has only just recovered from a knee injury suffered during a pre-season friendly.

With his move announced in February, the 27-year-old was the first signing of a busy transfer window for Lampard, who also added Timo Werner and Kai Havertz to bolster his attacking options.

Ziyech knows the competition for places will be fierce having been impressed by his fellow new additions, as well as "crazy" winger Christian Pulisic.

"I have two different options [over where to play], or maybe three. It depends on where the coach needs me," said Ziyech.

"For me, it doesn't matter where I'm playing. It's just the way that I love to play the game, it doesn't matter where I'm playing.

"Kai and Timo, they are two big talents and they already proved it in the past, what they did for their club before. Christian is also one of the biggest talents. They have enough quality.

"For Christian, he's already been here longer than us. If you see what he is capable of doing on the pitch, he's just a crazy winger.

"For me, it's really exciting to work with them. I can't wait to be on the pitch, fully fit, and just doing our things."

Ziyech has not started a game since March 7, with his Ajax career cut short when the the Eredivisie season was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, he made his Chelsea debut off the bench in the 3-3 Premier League draw with Southampton last Saturday, followed by a cameo appearance in the Champions League clash with Sevilla in midweek.

"The season stopped last year for me a bit early, so I didn't play for a while," Ziyech said ahead of Sunday's trip to Manchester United, which could see him up against former Ajax team-mate Donny van de Beek.

"Like I have said before, the injury came at an unlucky time. For me, it's just important to get the rhythm back and to build up everything again.

"I know it will take some time but, for me, it couldn't be sooner. As soon as possible, but it is what is it is right now.

"It's most important to build again and come in with 100 per cent fitness, and that's what we're working on right now."

Theo Walcott marked his first Southampton appearance for almost 15 years by setting up the late equaliser that secured a dramatic 3-3 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

German stars Timo Werner and Kai Havertz scored their first Premier League goals for Chelsea, but there were familiar failings in the home team's ranks and Frank Lampard's men were punished.

Chelsea were thrilling going forward at times, with Werner, who also had a goal disallowed, netting twice before setting up Havertz for what looked set to be the winner.

But between Werner's double and Havertz's strike it had been the same story for the Blues' defence, with Danny Ings and Che Adams taking advantage, and Walcott's shot from the edge of the penalty area in stoppage time was nodded in by Jannik Vestergaard to pinch a point.

Germany's Toni Kroos made his 100th international appearance in a 3-3 draw with Switzerland on Tuesday, but insisted he cares more for results than the number of games he plays.

Serge Gnabry's superb finish on the hour secured a point in Nations League Group A4 for Germany, who had to come from two goals down in Cologne.

Switzerland raced into a 2-0 lead through Mario Gavranovic and Remo Freuler, though Timo Werner swiftly pulled one back before Kai Havertz equalised.

Gavranovic's second put Switzerland back ahead, only for Gnabry to restore parity once more with his 14th international goal since November 2016.

Though Kroos made a landmark appearance, his error ultimately led to Switzerland's second goal, and though content with reaching a century of caps, the 30-year-old said winning titles means much more to him than personal accolades.

"It was of course a special game for me. To have reached 100, that's a nice mark. But anyone who knows me knows that I care more about results and titles than appearances," Kroos said.

"But of course, 100 games is something nice. In the past I have played with incredibly good footballers and guys. I hope that we can build on these successes with the current team.

"Our problem was the first 10 or 15 minutes. After that we played a good game and improved our footballing skills to the last game. In the end we are not satisfied with the point because we aim to win the game."

Kroos is one of the old guard in Germany's squad, with Joachim Low having stood by his decision not to select Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller, despite the latter's sensational form for Bayern Munich.

Havertz, who took his goal brilliantly and looked sharp alongside his Chelsea team-mate Werner, believes the comeback is a step in the right direction for Germany, who have managed just one win so far in 2020.

"We came back after many setbacks, we showed our morals," Havertz said.

"We are in a process, we have a young team. We will not be dissuaded from our path and will keep trying. We have to defend more intelligently, but we saw good beginnings today."

Head coach Low added: "The game was incredibly intense. Both teams risked a lot, but also made a lot of mistakes. 

"We got into the game badly, then we showed very good morale. That was certainly positive. But we made some mistakes at the back. We consciously risked a lot, made mistakes, we have to fix that."

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard promised Kai Havertz's three-goal haul against Barnsley will be the first of many impressive displays from the club's new signing.

Havertz put in some underwhelming performances in his first two Premier League appearances, but came to the fore with a hat-trick in Wednesday's 6-0 EFL Cup demolition of Championship side Barnsley at Stamford Bridge.

The Germany international star also played a part in another goal as Lampard's side made light work of Barnsley in London midweek.

Lampard has consistently urged patience with the 21-year-old, and suggested his treble showing is merely a sign of what is to come.

"I was delighted with Kai and everything of the night that I wanted from him," Lampard told a news conference.

"It was a great exercise for him, another game to see how we want to work off the ball, but also have freedom on the ball and combinations.

"It's the first of many great nights for him."

Tammy Abraham played ahead of Havertz and opened the scoring, with Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud also getting in on the act.

In defence, Lampard handed a debut to former Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva, while Ben Chilwell came on for Havertz midway through the second half.

"It's exciting for us," Lampard said of Silva's debut, which lasted just over an hour.

"He has just had a weeks training with us. But he gave something off for us with a leader of authority. At the minute, the fact he can't speak the language doesn't matter too much."

Antonio Rudiger and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were both left out of Chelsea's squad, and Lampard acknowledged the duo could move on before the transfer window closes if it suits Chelsea.

"They weren't in the squad and that was just a choice," Lampard said. "There may be movement, but don't read too much in to them not being in the squad. It will have to be right or the club."

Kai Havertz scored a hat-trick as Chelsea sealed their progression into the EFL Cup fourth round with a dominant 6-0 win over Barnsley.

Havertz had struggled to stamp his authority in his first two Premier League appearances, but the former Bayer Leverkusen star got up and running in English football in style on Wednesday.

With Tammy Abraham opening the scoring, Havertz doubled Chelsea's lead before playing his part in Ross Barkley putting the hosts 3-0 up.

Havertz added to his tally with a superb finish soon after, subsequently rounding off his first senior hat-trick 10 minutes later – Olivier Giroud making it six for Chelsea late on.

Callum Hudson-Odoi squandered a great chance in the opening two minutes and Chelsea were fortunate not to be made to pay when debutant Thiago Silva gifted possession to Patrick Schmidt, whose cross just evaded Cauley Woodrow.

Yet it was the hosts who struck first – Abraham slotting in after dispossessing Aapo Halme.

Mason Mount should have put Chelsea 2-0 up but Havertz made no mistake from the next opportunity, coolly dispatching beyond Bradley Collins from close range.

Willy Caballero kept Barnsley at bay three more times before the break, though hopes of a comeback were ended when Havertz forced Alex Mowatt into an error and Barkley drilled home.

Havertz had his second six minutes later, picking out the bottom-right corner with a wonderful strike.

His hat-trick goal came courtesy of a Collins howler – Barnsley's goalkeeper caught stranded on the edge of his box as Havertz nudged it past him and slammed into an empty net before being subbed off.

Barkley missed a glorious opportunity to add a sixth, but Giroud was on hand to pile further misery on Barnsley when he headed in Ben Chilwell's cross late on.

 

What does it mean? Mourinho reunion next up?

Tottenham may receive a bye to the fourth round due to several Leyton Orient players testing positive for coronavirus, and Chelsea's reward for their victory would be a meeting with their former manager if that proves to be the case. Frank Lampard's side came out on top in both league clashes with Spurs last season.

Havertz arrives with a bang

Lampard has urged patience with Chelsea's new signing and Havertz repaid his manager's belief with an excellent display. Across Europe's top five leagues, only Robert Lewandowski (35), Lionel Messi (32) and Cristiano Ronaldo (31) have been involved in more goals in all competitions in 2020 than the 21-year-old, who has 18 goals and eight assists.

Barnsley no match for the big boys

Gerhard Struber set his side up to attack, but though the Tykes caused Chelsea problems at times, they have now lost 15 of their last 17 EFL Cup matches against top-flight opponents.

What's next?

Chelsea travel to West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday, while Barnsley are in action against Coventry City in the second tier.

Frank Lampard has no doubts Kai Havertz will thrive for Chelsea, but insists the Germany youngster must first get up to full fitness.

Havertz arrived in a reported £72million (€80m) deal from Bayer Leverkusen, though he has so far failed to spark into life at Stamford Bridge.

After an indifferent display in his debut against Brighton and Hove Albion, Havertz struggled to impose himself on the game as Chelsea went down 2-0 to Liverpool on Sunday.

Yet Lampard has no concerns over the 21-year-old, who he suggested is not fully up to speed.

"Kai has played various positions in career, as number nine, number eight and a number 10," Lampard told a news conference.

"He played lots off the right for Leverkusen and I have my own vision going forward.

"The key now is getting him fit. Kai, with the situation we are in we aren't in a position where we can wait. We need to get him fit, and it'll become very clear why he's here."

Chelsea spent close to £200m bolstering their squad heading into this season, though injuries have left Lampard without some big names. 

Havertz and Timo Werner have featured in both of Chelsea's league matches, but Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva have yet to play, while Christian Pulisic has also been out.

However, Lampard confirmed he will be able to welcome back two of those players for the EFL Cup tie with Barnsley on Wednesday, with Chilwell and Silva, who celebrated his 36th birthday on Tuesday, set to be included.

"Chilwell is in the squad for tomorrow, Pulisic and Ziyech are getting closer," Lampard added.

"[Silva] is in the squad for tomrorow, so not sure if a present or not for him – he's getting fit, in the squad and I'll make a decision on how many minutes he may get in the game, what's best for him."

Kai Havertz says it is a dream come true to be playing under Frank Lampard at Chelsea after completing his move from Bayer Leverkusen.

Havertz made his Chelsea debut on Monday, as the Blues ran out 3-1 winners over Brighton and Hove Albion.

It was an indifferent start for the Germany international, who has been billed as one of the country's next big stars.

However, while accepting he will need time to adapt to the Premier League, Havertz is ecstatic to be playing in England's top flight under the guidance of one of his favourite former players.

"Yeah, I watched lots of his games as a kid, it's important to have a manager who has played for such a long time in the Premier League," Havertz told a news conference when asked if he looks to play in a similar way to how Lampard did.

"I loved him as a player, one of the biggest players in England of his time. Him and Chelsea were always very big. The Premier League always has the best players in the world.

"I'm happy he's my manager now. It's a big step coming to the Premier League, I watched it a lot as a kid. I'm happy to play in one of the best teams in England and the world as well. 

"I dreamed as a kid to play in the Premier League. For me the dream came true very early, I'm just 21. It seems a bit unreal for me sitting here playing for a club like Chelsea."

Havertz moved to Chelsea in a reported £72million deal, but the youngster – who scored 12 times in the Bundesliga last season – insists the fee means little to him.

"Yes it's a big price tag but for football today it's normal to pay these prices," he added.

"I don't want to put pressure on myself…I'm just trying to focus on playing my best football here at Chelsea.

"I'm just playing football and I love to play football and that's why I'm here."

Chelsea face defending champions Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Kai Havertz might be just 21 but Chelsea have acquired a special talent by bringing in the German from Bayer Leverkusen.

He looks set to make his Premier League debut at Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday evening, with head coach Frank Lampard expecting big things.

But what made Havertz such a golden boy of the Bundesliga, and why did Chelsea feel compelled to lavish a reported club-record fee to bring him to Stamford Bridge?

Can the player described by Lampard as being remarkably "humble and down to earth" impose a big footballing personality on the English game?

Using Opta data, we look in detail at his career so far, and the qualities he will add to the ambitious Blues.

So much, so young

Havertz made his Bundesliga debut at the age of 17 years, four months and four days, which at the time made him Leverkusen's youngest-ever player in the competition - a record broken by Florian Wirtz in May 2020.

He soon became their youngest Bundesliga scorer too, but Wirtz also swiped that record away in June.

What soon became clear at Leverkusen was that Havertz was mature enough to handle regular first-team football, and at 20 years, six months and three days, he became the youngest player in history to tot up 100 Bundesliga appearances.

Whose ton-up record did he beat? Only that of fellow Chelsea newcomer Timo Werner, by 16 days.

Could he be a slow starter?

Opta statistics show that 27 of Havertz's 36 goals in his Bundesliga career came in the second part of the season, with 11 of those goals (31 per cent) coming in the month of May.

Left-leaning away-day specialist

Havertz, often compared to former Chelsea and Leverkusen star Michael Ballack, produced some of his best form away from the BayArena during his Bundesliga days.

Certainly, in terms of goals, he was at his most productive on the road for Die Werkself.

Of the 46 goals he netted across all competitions for Leverkusen, 28 came in away games, with 16 scored at home and two netted at neutral grounds.

Predominantly a left-footed player, the emerging maestro netted 33 goals with his favoured foot, seven with his right, and added six headers, with showreels of his goals for Leverkusen demonstrating Havertz is both clinical and creative with his finishing.

But can he really fill the gap left by Willian?

Chelsea wanted to keep their Brazil winger but lost him to Arsenal. Not to worry; in Havertz they have landed a ready-made replacement who is 11 years younger than Willian and improving season by season.

Both have their own individual qualities and separate subtleties to their performances, but in the starkest terms Chelsea look to have landed an upgrade.

Havertz's 36 goals and 22 assists in 118 Bundesliga games for Leverkusen compares favourably with Willian's 37 goals and 33 assists in 234 Premier League outings with Chelsea.

The incoming Germany international edged it last season in terms of passing accuracy in the opposition half - 82.83 per cent to Willian's 80.91 per cent - and more touches in the oppositon penalty area - Havertz having 140 in 30 games and Willian 128 in 36 matches.

Willian can be shown to be a more successful dribbler, a player who won more duels and a more productive crosser of the ball.

But Chelsea have no doubts about the class of the young man who could drive their midfield forward for years to come.

As Lampard said last week: "He's a different player to what I was but, when it's an attacking midfielder that scores goals, obviously I certainly sit up and take notice."

Frank Lampard has revealed he and Petr Cech use the personal touch when they bid to lure transfer targets to Chelsea.

A successful transfer window for the Blues has seen them splash out over £200million on high-profile recruits Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz.

Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr have added experience and youth respectively to Lampard's defensive options ahead of the new Premier League season, which starts for Chelsea with an away match against Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday.

Lampard has discussed how he gets involved in transfer negotiations with players, also highlighting the involvement of his former team-mate and current technical advisor Petr Cech.

"You understand when it is the competition with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City that you need to state your best case to the player," the Chelsea boss told reporters.

"I think having been that player at one point, the idea as a manager is to try and sell the club and how I want to move forward.

"Petr in his role does the same and I do that to the best of my ability when I speak to players.

"With a player like Timo, we were very, very keen to bring him in. He needs to feel that from us. I loved everything he said to me in those kinds of conversations. And the same with all those kinds of players that I have spoken to.

"I think that the manager-player conversation is really important because our relationship needs to be good and positive going forward.

"All you can do is do your best as a club because you know the competition is doing their best, so I think we can be happy that we have brought in players of their level. That is just how we tried to work."

With Werner and Havertz expected to feature against Brighton, Lampard added: "I am pleased and now it is stage two: it is about getting them settled and playing to the best of their abilities.

"We need to give them all a bit of time, the players that are coming in to hit the ground running.

"We will do our best to have the environment to have the group working well to help individuals in that."

Frank Lampard felt challenged by Chelsea's major investment in 2003 and believes the current crop of Blues youngsters should be just as excited by their recent transfer business.

In a window reminiscent of the early days of Roman Abramovich's tenure, when Lampard was a player under Claudio Ranieri, the Blues have spent heavily heading into the new season.

Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz have each arrived for substantial fees, while Thiago Silva was brought in on a free and Chelsea are said to be negotiating for a new goalkeeper.

The huge moves come after a season in which head coach Lampard relied heavily on academy graduates as the club served a transfer ban.

The likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James helped Chelsea qualify for the Champions League but could now find their places under threat.

Lampard hopes they will respond and "up their game", though, recalling the time 17 years ago when the likes of Joe Cole, Juan Sebastian Veron, Claude Makelele and Geremi arrived in quick succession at Chelsea.

"I saw it as a challenge," Lampard told reporters. "When players come in that add quality to the squad, they might be in similar positions to you or not but it lifts the team, it should lift the team.

"The players with the right mentality will up their game, make friends with the players, make them feel welcomed within the squad. Hopefully then you see levels raised throughout the squad.

"That was something that did occur [in 2003]. I was a young player, so was John [Terry] and others in the group, so the core of those young players in the group did react and we managed to form a good group moving forward.

"I certainly wouldn't say, 'I did it, you can too'. That's not my style of management. But with Mason, the conversation Mason has is the way he trains every day.

"The last two days when we've trained with these new players, when everyone is very excited and focused on them at the moment, I focus on all the squad at all times.

"The way that Mason's trained the last few days after coming back from England shows that when I talk about how players will react in a positive way and up their game, Mason is one of them. That's what I want from all the young lads."

Yet Lampard also does not want his younger charges to feel they are in direct competition for places, believing there is space in the squad for each player to thrive.

"I expect them to be excited by the challenge of playing in the squad this year," he said, ahead of Chelsea's new-season opener at Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday.

"I don't see it in those direct competitive situations that we're trying to find.

"A modern-day squad - much more than 17 years ago - needs to have flexibility, needs to have competition. I don't think we need to find direct battles at this point in the season, no.

"The team needs to be flexible. A lot of the time I'm talking about players that can play in a number of positions, which is great for a manager.

"I just see it as a group that is hopefully stronger than last year and the players give everything to try to get in the team game after game."

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is adamant a story claiming Mason Mount was concerned for his place in the Blues' team following the arrival of Kai Havertz was "fabricated".

Mount, 21, enjoyed a breakthrough season with Chelsea last term, as he returned to the club following a year-long loan with Derby County, where he had previously played under Lampard.

The midfielder played 37 times in the Premier League, scoring seven goals and setting up another five, while he has also accumulated seven England caps since 2019-20 began.

But the signing of Havertz in a reported €71million (£65.3m) deal from Bayer Leverkusen led to some suggesting Mount's position could be under threat.

A report emanating from Germany went a step further and claimed Mount was concerned as well – though Lampard insists there is no truth to such stories.

"I saw the story about Mount, I know it was absolutely fabricated by somebody, particularly as it came from the German end," Lampard told reporters in Thursday's pre-match news conference ahead of a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday.

"I'm not sure if he has any family or friends out there he would talk to, but it was a strange angle for that to come from Mason.

"What I do know is that, with the young players in the team and the way football is at a club like Chelsea, if you're a young player that's got a foot in and then the club brings players in around you, that raises levels, or we hope they raise levels, then the other players should, and hopefully will, raise their levels, and everybody improves.

"I will be fair when I pick the team, I don't pick the team on whether you've come from the academy or not, I pick it every week on how we've been training or performing.

"Everyone should be positive going into the season, training and playing as well as they can, and worry about the unity of the squad and the results we get as a team."

Havertz's comfort both as an attacking midfielder or central striker could potentially help Mount's cause, with Lampard revealing the Germany international has not requested to be played in a specific position.

"Kai, with his qualities, is flexible to play in different positions, so I haven't changed my view after two or three days of seeing him," Lampard added.

"I think we can use the versatility. One of the pluses when I spoke to him was that he's very comfortable, he's not saying he wants to play in 'this' position, he's actually very happy to help the team and he can give us different qualities in different areas.

"It's not one we have to nail down."

Kai Havertz's move from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea is bad for the Bundesliga, according to Germany boss Joachim Low.

Germany allowed Havertz to leave their training camp in Stuttgart on Friday to complete a switch to Chelsea, where he signed a five-year contract.

The Blues also raided the Bundesliga for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, with Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr having also arrived at Stamford Bridge as reinforcements for the 2020-21 season.

Low was disappointed to see Havertz leave the Bundesliga but hopes playing abroad can help him have a bigger impact with the national team.

"I see it as a negative when such great talents like Kai are no longer in the Bundesliga," Low told a news conference on Saturday.

"But I also see the positives. Abroad, the players develop their personalities.

"I think the time is right for Kai, and the same goes for Werner. If they take the next step that will of course help us too."

Havertz was an unused substitute in Germany's 1-1 draw with Spain in the Nations League on Thursday, with Low not playing him due to his Chelsea transfer not being completed at that point.

"Kai was torn. Kai would have been good for us in the second half against Spain, but I also knew his situation," said Low.

"He would have liked to have played for the national team, but in such situations, when a transfer is imminent, you have to be careful."

Germany will be without Havertz when they face Switzerland on Sunday but Low expects to have every other player available, having confirmed Leroy Sane did not suffer a muscle injury against Spain.

"Bernd Leno will be in goal. For everyone else, I'll wait for training," said Low.

"I told Leroy we weren't taking any risks. He did not suffer any muscular injuries, but it was not to be expected that he would last the 90 minutes.

"Switzerland's development has been very good since 2014, including as individuals. They are now one of the big players. I see parallels between Switzerland and Spain in terms of the style of play."

Kai Havertz talked up the influence of head coach Frank Lampard in his decision to join Chelsea and says he "cannot wait to learn" from the iconic former midfielder.

Germany international Havertz completed a move from Bayer Leverkusen reportedly worth in the region of £72m (€80m) on Friday to become Chelsea's sixth signing of 2020.

He is the highest-profile of those captures and has earned comparisons with new boss Lampard in terms of his playing style and goalscoring abilities around the penalty area.

Versatile attacker Havertz is looking forward to starting work under the Englishman, who remains the highest-scoring midfielder in Premier League history.

"He had a big impact on my decision as I loved him as a player and I watched him very often," he told Chelsea's official website. 

"I think I can learn from him as a manager. He's very humble and a great guy and I cant wait to play with him and learn from him."

"He was very offensive like me and loved to score goals, like me. He will help me a lot in my position and also maybe on the things that I can improve. I can't wait to work with him." 

Havertz already knows Antonio Rudiger and fellow Chelsea newbie Timo Werner from the Germany national side and is looking forward to getting to know his other team-mates.

"I think it's very exciting because Chelsea have very young players," he said. "I know some of them players like Timo and Toni, who I have played with at international level.

"They are good friends of mine so I think this is very good for me. 

"Chelsea also have very young English players so I think that's very nice and a big project and hopefully we can have many successes. I want to achieve as much as possible and I'll try to do my best."

Chelsea have completed the signing of Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen in a deal reportedly worth in the region of £72m (€80m).

Havertz, 21, left Germany's training camp on Friday to finalise the details and has signed a five-year contract to end months of speculation over his future.

He is the latest high-profile capture for the 2020-21 season at Stamford Bridge, joining Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva, and takes their spending on reinforcements over £200m.

"I am very happy and proud to be here, For me it is a dream come true to play in a big club like Chelsea and I can't wait to meet all the players and the trainers," Havertz told Chelsea's official website. "Yeah, I am very happy to be here!"

Havertz broke into the Leverkusen first-team as a 17-year-old in 2016-17 and quickly became a regular in the starting XI, appearing in the line-up 37 times across his first two Bundesliga seasons.

It was in 2018-19 when Havertz truly blossomed, however, scoring 17 times in the Bundesliga, a record for a teenager in the German top-flight.

He followed that up with another 12 in 2019-20, while his assists haul doubled to six.

More of a finisher than a creator, Havertz's abilities around the penalty area have drawn comparisons with Michael Ballack – like him, a former Leverkusen star – and Frank Lampard, his new head coach.

But Havertz has also been noted as remarkably quick for someone of his height, and he appears well prepared to adapt to the Premier League should Chelsea find the correct role for him.

Barcelona, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich had all been mooted as Havertz's potential next destination, but it is Chelsea who have taken the plunge.

"Kai is one of the best players of his age in world football, so we are very happy that his future lies at Chelsea," the club's director Marina Granovskaia said. 

"He has proven pedigree in one of the best leagues in Europe, he plays for the German national side and he is an exciting, dynamic talent. We are delighted to be able to add his versatility and quality to the squad before the season begins."

Kai Havertz has become Chelsea's record signing after leaving Bayer Leverkusen in a reported initial £72million (€80m) transfer.

That deal also means the Germany international ranks among the most expensive deals in Premier League history.

We take a look at the top five signings made by England's top-flight clubs as Havertz aims to hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge.
 

NICOLAS PEPE – Lille to Arsenal (£72m)

Tying Havertz as the fifth-most expensive signing by an English club, Pepe has not quite yet made the impact Arsenal might have hoped for when splashing out a huge fee at the start of last season.

Pepe scored 22 times for Lille in his final Ligue 1 campaign but managed only a comparatively measly five goals and six assists in the Premier League last term. The winger has competition from academy graduate Bukayo Saka – a PFA Young Player of the Year nominee – for his place now, too.

ROMELU LUKAKU – Everton to Manchester United (£75m)

It would be harsh to call Lukaku a flop, but Chelsea will want more from Havertz than the former Blue provided at United, who fought off interest from Stamford Bridge to secure his signature at the end of a 25-goal 2016-17 campaign.

Although Lukaku started reasonably well at Old Trafford, scoring 15 times in the league by the end of March in his first season, the Belgium international never really hit the heights expected of a United centre-forward and departed last year for Inter, where he has proven hugely successful.

VIRGIL VAN DIJK – Southampton to Liverpool (£75m)

Such a fee for a defender seemed extortionate in January 2018, but Van Dijk has arguably proved the best buy on this list. Already a standout performer for Southampton, the Dutch centre-back has taken a huge leap in Liverpool red.

Van Dijk was influential in his new club's run to the Champions League final in 2017-18 and then helped them go one better and lift the trophy the following year. A Premier League title finally followed last term, with Liverpool's huge outlay rewarded with defensive displays of remarkable consistency.

HARRY MAGUIRE – Leicester City to Manchester United (£80m)

United certainly appeared to pay attention to Van Dijk's early success at Liverpool as they followed suit with a massive move for a centre-back with Premier League experience. Maguire was signed just a year ago but is already Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's captain.

That is not to say Maguire has fully justified his fee just yet, though. Mistakes crept into the defender's play late in the season, while there may be extra pressure placed on the England man in the coming campaign after an off-season incident in Greece.

PAUL POGBA – Juventus to Manchester United (£89m)

United could yet challenge this fee with a move for Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, but England's most expensive buy as it stands is a player the Red Devils previously let go for free. Pogba returned to Old Trafford in 2016 having developed into a world-class midfielder in Serie A.

Pogba has been the subject of criticism and transfer speculation almost since he arrived back at United, yet he remains a key performer and has scored precious goals in the Europa League final and against rivals Manchester City. The Frenchman is now forming an effective partnership with Bruno Fernandes.

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