Chelsea star Havertz explains why he wears No.29

Kai Havertz has revealed why he wears the No.29 shirt, with the Chelsea forward having filled that jersey since bursting onto a senior stage at Bayer Leverkusen.

It has proven lucky for him, with giant strides taken in his homeland as he became a full Germany international and a big-money signing at Stamford Bridge.

He is also a Champions League winner, having netted the decisive goal in a major European final last season, and will not be switching numbers any time soon.

Quizzed by The Athletic on why he favours No.29, Havertz has said: “When I was young I always used to play FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer with my brother.

“We always made ourselves in the game. I had No.10, golden shoes and things like that. My brother always put No.29 on his shirt.

“When I came to the professional game and Leverkusen asked me what number I wanted to have, I asked them which numbers were free. When they said 29, I said I’d take it because of my brother.

“Sometimes it’s lucky for me, sometimes not, but I like the number and now I think everybody knows me for it.”

The 22-year-old took a while to find his feet in English football after completing a £70 million ($97m) move from Leverkusen.

He ended his debut season on a positive not, though, with a Champions League-winning goal recorded while filling a false nine role under Thomas Tuchel, and a hot prospect believes there is more to come from him.

Havertz added on scaling the heights expected of him: “We have so much talent in our team, so many young players with so much potential.

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“It always takes a little bit of time. Timo [Werner] and I started the first game (against Brighton). I had trained for one-and-a-half weeks with the team and nobody knew me, nobody had an understanding with me.

“It was difficult for everybody. Timo was a little longer than me, but it was difficult for the first few months.

“It takes a little bit of time, but when you come as an £80 million transfer people expect you to play like this even though you don’t have time to adapt. Now I think we’re getting used to it, and we’re very happy to be here.”

He went on to say of his role in Tuchel’s plans: “I like to go into the box and score goals, maybe from first contact or two touches.

“More or less, I’m a midfield player but I like to go into the box, and maybe that’s why not every defensive player has me on their mind — I just run through the midfield and then I’m there.”

Chelsea are currently counting down the days to a UEFA Super Cup clash with Villarreal next Wednesday and a 2021-22 Premier League season opener against Crystal Palace on August 14.

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