Didi Hamann has not seen a better central midfielder at just 18 years old than Bayer Leverkusen star Florian Wirtz.
Arsenal and Chelsea have both been linked with the teenage sensation in recent weeks following a string of impressive performances for the Bundesliga side.
So far this season, Wirtz has played six times in the German top-flight for Leverkusen and has scored four goals and assisted five times in the process – helping the side get to joint-top of the Bundesliga table in the early stages of the campaign.
The German midfielder, who is valued at £40million on Transfermarkt, still has just under five years remaining on his contract at the BayArena, but has been strongly linked with a move away in recent weeks.
Wirtz has, in the past, been compared to Chelsea star Kai Havertz, which perhaps is an easy comparison to make considering they have both played for Bayer Leverkusen and the fact they’re German.
Now, former Liverpool midfielder Hamann, who represented Germany at international level, has waxed lyrical about Wirtz, but played down comparisons with Havertz.
He told Tribal Football: “He’s a brilliant player, a different player to [Kai] Havertz, but he’s playing very well so far for Leverkusen.
“The only thing he lacks is a yard of pace, but I think he makes up for it with the positions he takes up.
“He’s stepped up so far, you can see he’s a leader in this team with his performances in the early weeks of the season.
“I don’t think I’ve seen a better central midfielder at his age in decades, that’s how good I think he is.”
Wirtz himself was asked about the similarities between him and Havertz, and admitted he looks at the Blues midfielder for inspiration.
“In training, I try to emulate how he acts in front of goal and how he moves between the spaces,” Wirtz said in January.
“It’s an incentive for me to become even better than Kai. I always want to be the best and hate to lose.”
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As mentioned above, the form that the teenager has displayed for Leverkusen recently has attracted interest from some of the elite clubs around Europe, including Barcelona, according to reports.
Wirtz admitted that he would one day love to play for the La Liga giants, when speaking to Sports Bild earlier in the year.
“As a little boy, I always wanted to play for Barcelona. Nothing has changed in this regard, but until then I still have some time,” he said.