Lothar Matthaus wanted to see a little bit more from Chelsea attacker Kai Havertz before he can lead Germany into a new era.
Speaking to Kicker, Matthaus outlined a few areas Havertz could develop to truly make him the standout player for his country.
The 22-year-old showed strong signs of his talents during Germany’s 4-2 European Championship win over Portugal last weekend.
He played a part in three goals, scoring one and twice forcing the Portuguese defenders to put the ball into their own net.
It was a vast enhancement from his first performance against France, where he was bystander for most of the match.
Havertz has another opportunity to build upon his previous display when Germany take on Hungary in two days time.
Havertz almost has it all
Matthaus had big hopes for Chelsea’s £71m (BBC Sport) signing, as long as he added a few more elements to his already elegant repertoire.
“Havertz will be one of the fixed points in the national team in the next six or eight years when (Toni) Kroos, (Thomas) Muller and (Ilkay) Gundogan have finished their careers there,” said the Bayern Munich legend.
“He could score more goals and improve himself in the short movements with special training.
“He has a good eye, good ball control, good positional play, fine technique. He plays intelligently and uses his body well.
“Havertz is on his way, but nuances will determine whether he will make it to the top, whether he will be an excellent a player or just a very good one.”
Kai can go to the next level
There is certainly a feeling from across the board that Havertz is not too far away from achieving greatness.
His debut Chelsea campaign was stunted by injuries, contracting covid and a general lack of confidence.
But he gradually grew into his role, eventually topped off by winning the Champions League.
Many view him as the golden boy of German football, a status that could be cemented if Joachim Low’s side goes far in the competition.
Die Mannschaft’s team has a core of experienced players who won’t be around forever, alongside generational stars paving the way for a fresh future.
Chelsea have a very similar makeup within Thomas Tuchel’s squad, as both camps look to Havertz as their inspirational figure.