When James Rodriguez asked Bayern Munich not to activate the option-to-buy clause in his loan deal this past summer, Bayern were left without a number 10 in their team and needed a quick fix.
They got it in Philippe Coutinho who was out of favour at Barcelona. The Brazil international signed for Bayern on a season-long loan deal with a £109.8m option to buy.
Since he has come in, Coutinho has been good for Bayern and has drawn a lot of praise from manager and teammates alike.
It is good to see the 27-year-old enjoying his football again as he is one of the best in the world in his position and his influence is slowly seeing become undroppable for the Bayern team. With consistency, he is likely to produce superb numbers for the German champions and make them consider making his loan move permanent. And, if Coutinho continues to impress it is easy to understand why betting24 make Bayern clear favourites to win the Bundesliga again this season.
That being said, a similar player that plays in the same position has also attracted interest from Bayern Munich. His name is Kai Havertz.
The dynamite 20-year-old midfielder has caught the eye of several clubs in the past few years with Bayern one of those interested teams. They previously enquired about the German international playmaker last year and were told that Havertz was not for sale.
Both players are very similar in the way they play as natural number 10s. They both work well in teams that like to have the ball and give their central attacking midfielder the licence to roam.
Havertz is slightly more versatile than Coutinho. Although the Brazillian can play on the left flank, he can’t play in central midfield but Havertz can.
In his young career, Havertz has played in all the midfield positions and his intelligence has made him able to play several roles asked of him. This season, he also played wide on the right flank and created several chances.
So far this season, Havertz has played six league games and 630 minutes with two goals and an assist to his name already. His vision and excellent passing range has also seen him average two key passes per game with a total passing accuracy of 84% so far this campaign.
Coutinho, on the other hand, has featured six times for Bayern and started four times, scoring and assisting two times. He has averaged two key passes per contest as well as a passing accuracy of 81.1% on 34 passes per game. He gets the ball often higher up the pitch which explains his low passes per game average compared to Havertz who averages 53 passes per contest.
Both players are good at receiving the ball in tight areas and dribbling their way out with Havertz and Coutinho averaging 1.9 and 1.8 dribbles per game.
Coutinho’s overall whoscored rating of 7.53 is better than Leverkusen’s Havertz whose rating is 7.09 whoscored. His player of the month nomination shows that he is currently in a better form than Havertz.
Both players are really talented and would both be worth over 100 million pounds. It is now up to Bayern to decide what kind of project they want because both Coutinho and Havertz are ones you build your team around.
Bayern who are not naturally known for spending a lot in the transfer window have already broken their club record-fee to sign Lucas Hernandez for £68m. The £109m option-to-buy fee in Coutinho’s contract is another sign that Bayern are just about ready to spend with the big boys.