Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz has admitted he is delighted to have been given the chance to emulate childhood hero Michael Ballack by moving to Stamford Bridge.
After months of negotiations, Chelsea finally agreed a deal worth an initial £62m to lure Havertz away from Bayer Leverkusen, with manager Frank Lampard eager to add the 21-year-old to his young squad.
Havertz was already clued up on Chelsea by the time he arrived, having watched Ballack tear it up for the Blues between 2006 and 2010, and he admitted (via the club's official website) that he bases a lot of his game on his hero.
"Ballack was a very big player and he also played for Leverkusen and Bayern Munich and he was always like a hero when I was younger," he said. "I liked him as a player very much and he played in my position.
"He was a player that scored many, many goals and of course I try to score goals like him. I’m thankful to play in the club which he played for."
Ballack wasn't the only Chelsea midfielder to inspire Havertz's decision. The midfielder also admitted that Lampard, who formed a dominant duo with Ballack during his playing career, played a huge part in convincing him to make the move.
"The coach had a big impact on my decision," Havertz added. "I loved Chelsea my whole life and I always loved the team as a kid, so it was not a very tough decision for me.
"Chelsea is a very big club and I’m very grateful and thankful to be here now. It’s a big project here and I love to play with young players."
Lampard recently spoke highly of Havertz, insisted he confident that the young German has what it takes to become a real star at the Bridge.
Source : 90min