Chelsea should sign Havertz rather than Coutinho, says Leboeuf

‘I like his maturity’: Chelsea should sign Kai Havertz rather than Philippe Coutinho in the transfer window, says former Blues star Frank Leboeuf

  • Chelsea have been linked with move for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Havertz 
  • The Blues are also interested in Coutinho, currently on loan at Bayern Munich
  • Leboeuf has no doubts who he believes Frank Lampard should be looking at
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Chelsea have been told to go for Kai Havertz rather than Philippe Coutinho by ex-Blues defender Frank Leboeuf.

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Havertz has continued his impressive form by scoring three times in two games following the resumption of the Bundesliga following the coronavirus shutdown.

The 20-year-old Germany international was on target twice on Saturday as Bayer won 3-1 away at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeu believes the Blues should be targeting Kai Havertz

Chelsea have also been linked with Coutinho, who is currently on loan at Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich from Barcelona, and Leboeuf has no doubts who he believes Frank Lampard should be looking at.

‘I like his maturity on the field, he looks like someone who is 30 and knows exactly what he has to do and when he has to do it,’ he told ESPN FC. ‘The goal he scored was very clever, between the goalkeeper’s legs.

‘He’s the master orchestrator of that team and I talked about him last week and I said that’s a player that I would hire for sure.

The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder has continued his impressive form in the Bundesliga

‘When we were talking Chelsea about Coutinho, when you see that player [Havertz], he should be in the Premier League very soon. He should be because he’s a very, very talented player.’

Leboeuf has been critical of Coutinho, despite the 27-year-old Brazil international posting eight goals and six assists in 22 league outings for the Bundesliga leaders so far this season.

‘I would have lots of question marks seeing him coming to Chelsea, to bring what?’ he said in March.’I don’t know where his place would be. If I was the chairman, if I was the coach, I would be very hesitant to pick him up.’

Coutinho has recently returned to training after suffering an ankle injury.

Philippe Coutinho is currently on loan at Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich from Barcelona

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Havertz should expect Premier League interest, says Berbatov

‘It is no surprise Liverpool want him’: Kai Havertz should expect Premier League interest after his stunning displays for Bayer Leverkusen, says Dimitar Berbatov… but former striker warns him to stay put for now

  • Kai Havertz’s impressive form continued as the Bundesliga returned last week
  • The 20-year-old scored twice in Bayer Leverkusen’s win against Werder Bremen
  • The midfielder has attracted interest from Liverpool, Chelsea and Man Utd 
  • But Dimitar Berbatov believes Havertz should stay in Germany for the time being 

Kai Havertz deserves to be linked with top Premier League clubs according to Dimitar Berbatov, but he has warned the German star to stay at Bayer Leverkusen for the time being. 

Attacking midfielder Havertz has shone for his club this season, and scored twice in a 4-1 victory against Werder Bremen on Monday night as the Bundesliga returned last week. 

His impressive form and eye-catching set of skills has seen him linked with moves to Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United in recent months and while not surprised by the speculation, former Leverkusen striker Berbatov has urged the 20-year-old to stay put for now.  

Kai Havertz is one of Europe’s hottest properties and has been linked with the Premier League

Former Leverkusen striker Dimitar Berbatov is not surprised by all the speculation

Statistics in all competitions according to Transfermarkt 

‘Havertz needs to get used to the sounds that are being made about him following his two goals on Monday night because teams are going to come after him,’ Berbatov told Betfair. 

‘He has enough quality and if he continues the way he is going teams will still be there, they won’t go away.

‘All eyes are on the Bundesliga at the moment and when you score goals and play good football it is no surprise that teams like Liverpool want you.’ 

Havertz has scored eight goals in 23 Bundesliga appearances this season, with Leverkusen currently fifth in the table. 

As of Saturday morning before the second week of Bundesliga fixtures got underway, Leverkusen are eight points off leaders Bayern, but just one point off Red Bull Leipzig a spot ahead in fourth – they play third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday afternoon. 

Havertz continues to impress for Leverkusen, who are fifth in the Bundesliga, this season

Havertz scored twice against Werder Bremen, taking his season tally to 12 in all competitions

‘I would like to see Havertz in the Premier League at some point, but not right now,’ Berbatov, who moved from Germany to England in 2006 at the age of 25, continued. 

‘I think it is a bit too early for him. I also think he will need a bit more muscle to play in the Premier League, we all know how defenders can squash you and smash you into pieces and you need to be ready for that if you are going to hit the ground running in such a demanding league.

‘I think he should stay at Leverkusen and develop even more and get that experience which will help him for when the time comes to go somewhere else.’ 

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MARTIN SAMUEL: No club should be promoted or relegated if incomplete

MARTIN SAMUEL: No club should be promoted or relegated if season is incomplete… League Two teams have decided they don’t want to play football, just take the benefits it brings

  • League Two clubs voted to end their season now and decide standings on PPG
  • No club should be either promoted or relegated if season is incomplete 
  • Clubs in the fourth tier of English football rely on gate money to survive 

It is getting ridiculous now. League Two clubs yesterday decided they didn’t want to play football — they just wanted the benefits playing football brings.

Like lucrative days out at Wembley, and promotion. The rest of it, the weekly slog that brings reward come the season’s end is beyond them. But if someone can hand out prizes just the same, they will form an orderly queue.

No doubt some of League One’s clubs would like their elevation to the Championship to come without the burden of finishing the campaign — and we all know the sense of entitlement that exists in the second tier.

 League Two clubs yesterday decided they didn’t want to play football, just the benefits

Football League chairman Rick Parry has already threatened legal action against the Premier League if clubs from a competition still nine games short of conclusion — 12, if we include the play-offs — aren’t allowed in.

The presumption is staggering. No club should be allowed up, or sent down, unless the season is played to conclusion. No guesses, no formulas that were not in the rulebook when the season began last August. Is there no one in authority with the gumption to say this? Finish the season, or end it. To hear League Two’s owners demand the best of all worlds shows how this idea has been allowed to run unchallenged.

Discussions are still ongoing in League One, but yesterday League Two clubs voted to end the season now. And, yes, we understand the reasoning. Clubs in tier four rely on gate money to survive.

Clubs in the fourth tier of English football rely on the match-day revenue in order to survive

To bring the players back from furlough to play behind closed doors would be an economic disaster. But to forfeit the rest of the campaign should mean forfeiting the play-offs, too.

There is no reason why clubs in League One should step aside for those below whose promotion was calculated over just 36-37 games, plus guesses. Even league leaders Crewe are still 10 shy of the minimum points necessary for automatic promotion last season; and Northampton are still 13 adrift of the 71 points that allowed Newport to take the final 2018-19 play-off spot.

Everyone is working very hard to find solutions to this blighted season and perhaps this has created the wrong impression. Parry’s talk of legal action has led to false feelings of empowerment. Promotion must be earned on the field. Nothing else has the remotest credibility.

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‘It should be a given’: Ferguson says NRLW deserves equal footing

If the NRL is played, the NRLW has to be played.

That's the view of former Jillaroos star Allana Ferguson, as the NRLW fights for survival.

Allana Ferguson wants the NRLW to be put on the same footing as NRL as it fights for survival.Credit:Getty Images

The women's game has been rocked by the revelation that the Roosters and Warriors are set to pull out of the competition due to financial constraints caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Senior NRLW players, the RLPA and NRL executives have since been discussing the future of the women's game daily.

That resulted in a financial guarantee for the top 20 women in the game, who are all on central contracts.

But there is no certainty as to whether the competition will proceed at all this year, as only the Dragons and Broncos remain guaranteed starters for the 2020 season.

Ferguson, who was at the forefront of the rise of the women's game before a fourth ACL injury forced her into retirement, doesn't think that's good enough.

"It’s disappointing that it hasn’t been the case that if the NRL is played, the NRLW has to be played," Ferguson said.

"It’s just something that is spoken about and the NRL are saying we will try and do our best.

"That’s been the most disappointing aspect, that it isn’t just a given. Because I think it should be a given.

"Rugby league is now (men and women).

"We have tried to change the mindsets, we have shown everyone what it’s all about. It should be a given that if one is played, so should the other."

But NRLW players haven't been made to feel like they're on equal footing since news the future of the competition was in doubt emerged.

Roosters officials and players were caught off guard by Monday’s news, which revealed they would not take part in this year's competition.

That has been "devastating" for everyone involved in the rapid growth of the women's game.

"That's the devastating thing. Women’s rugby league may not be the priority for clubs at this point in time," Ferguson said.

"That’s the impact the women are feeling. They are seeing glimpses that they’re not worth it or they’re not good enough just yet, which isn’t the case.

"Unfortunately what it will come down to is dollars and cents in rugby league. Can they afford it?

"I don’t think there is any club out there that would think it’s not a good opportunity because it is.

"We’ve seen the progression of the women’s game. We’ve seen how they play, what they can do for the market.

"They’re their own business and we’ve seen how successful they have been. It’s in all clubs’ best interests to form a women’s team.

"Unfortunately, the position rugby league is in at the moment – individually and as a whole – is that they may not be able to."

If the competition does pause for at least this year, Ferguson believes it would be a "handbrake" for the growth of the game.

"But we play and they play purely for passion. That’s why they started playing the game," Ferguson said.

"There are some players that are getting monetary benefits now but that was never the case to begin with and they were still playing at the elite level without that recognition and without those monetary payments.

"It has been a bit of a shock but it’s just about getting onto the next job and figuring out what they need to do."

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