Kai Havertz expressed his thanks and gratitude to the fans, staff and team-mates who helped his development across his decade-long stay with Bayer Leverkusen after his big-money move to Chelsea was announced on Friday evening.
The 21-year-old was given permission to leave Germany’s training camp in Stuttgart earlier this week and flew to the UK to become Chelsea’s sixth signing of the summer transfer window, following Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues agreed a deal worth around £70 million, including add-ons, with Leverkusen which makes the attacking midfielder the second most expensive player in the club’s history after Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Havertz had been with Leverkusen from the age of 11 and was earmarked as a potential star as he made his way through the club’s academy ranks.
In a heartfelt letter to Leverkusen on Instagram, Havertz said he had realised a ‘dream’ by joining one of the ‘largest European clubs’ in Chelsea.
‘Dear fans, I’m finding it difficult to describe my current emotions. I feel nothing but gratitude for Bayer 04 and the last 10 years in Leverkusen,’ the youngster posted.
‘As a little boy I grew up here with a dream. Here I have not only become a professional and national player, but above all a person with values. Here I have made friends for life who will be with me for a long time.
‘B04 has supported me unconditionally from day one. And in the last few days I have received support and understanding from those responsible for my decision.
‘The dream I came here with as an 11-year-old has only grown over the past few years under at Leverkusen. It was clear to me that one day I would play for one of the largest European clubs and gain experience abroad.
‘It is time to express my big thanks to each and every one of you, my teammates, the fans, those responsible and the staff at B04. I will forever remain connected to my homeland and the club that shaped half of my life.
‘Special thanks go to all the people who have accompanied and supported me over the years. Stay healthy and take care of yourself. Yours, Kai.’
Havertz’s arrival in west London means Frank Lampard now has three Germany internationals in his first-team squad.
Werner – who completed his switch from Leipzig back in June – wasted no time in welcoming his fellow countryman to the club.
‘Welcome to Chelsea, my friend!’ Werner posted on Twitter.
Antonio Rudiger, who played a key role in convincing both Werner and Havertz to join Chelsea, featured in a brilliant video shortly before the announcement.
Havertz cannot wait to meet his new team-mates and coaches and told Chelsea’s official website that it was a ‘dream come true’ to join the club.
‘I am very happy and proud to be here,’ he said.
‘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.
Yeah, I am very happy to be here!’
‘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.’