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Kai Havertz signs long-term contract extension with Bayer Leverkusen

Kai Havertz has committed his future to Bayer Leverkusen by signing a long-term contract with the Bundesliga club.
Kai Havertz is seen as Hakan Calhanoglu's replacement at Bayer Leverkusen.

Germany youth international Kai Havertz has signed a new five-year contract at Bayer Leverkusen.

Havertz, 18, became Leverkusen's youngest-ever player when he started against Darmstadt on match day 10 of the 2016-17 season.

Born in June 1999, the attacking midfielder has already made 28 competitive appearances for the club, scoring four goals and setting up a further six.

"I worked towards this moment in the last years," Havertz, who joined Leverkusen at the age of 11 in 2010, told the club's official website. "It makes me very proud.

"I had to finish school last term, and now I've made my Abitur [A-Grades] and signed a pro contract at Bayer Leverkusen, it's an incredible feeling."

Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller praised Havertz as a player with "extraordinary talent" and a "matureness on the pitch that distinguished him from other players in his age group."

Voller said: "He's got a good technique, is dangerous in front of the goal, good on the headers. Following his great start in professional football, we want to push Kai's development. He's got a huge potential which will unfold even more in the upcoming years."

Earlier on Monday, Voller had told kicker that Hakan Calhanoglu's impending transfer to AC Milan was also directly connected to Havertz' new contract.

He said: "In Kai we have the absolute super talent in that position [central attacking midfield]. We should not block his way."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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