Incoming Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick is a huge admirer of Chelsea forward Kai Havertz, labelling him a "modern Johan Cruyff".

Rangnick's new club travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, with his opposite number Thomas Tuchel boasting a 12-point lead.

Caretaker boss Michael Carrick remains in charge, but his German successor will be watching - trying to figure out how to get a tune out of United.

The Red Devils have won just one of their last seven Premier League games and face an almighty challenge, with Chelsea losing just once this season.

Although Rangnick's priority will be watching the likes of Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo - he'll also be keeping an eye on Havertz, if he plays.

Ralf Rangnick believes Chelsea forward Kai Havertz is a "modern Johan Cruyff" (

Image:

Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

The 22-year-old is nursing a hamstring injury and faces a late fitness test but will be keen to end Chelsea's four-year wait for a Premier League win against United.

Havertz will also want to prove Rangnick right. Speaking to Sky Sports in September 2020, the former RB Leipzig coach highlighted the talent's qualities.

At the time, Havertz had just completed a reported £72million move from German outfit Bayer Leverkusen.

"I have no doubts whatsoever that he will become a sustainable success and that he will become one of the top players in the next two or three years," said Rangnick.

"Maybe, he will need a couple of weeks to get adjusted because he has a fantastic family background.

"I know that because I was also trying to convince him to join us at Leipzig, but he was completely dedicated to Bayer Leverkusen.

"He's one of those players where I don't see any weaknesses in his game. He's the type of modern Johan Cruyff - he can score goals and he can provide assists.

"He can play as a nine or nine-and-a-half. I don't see him as a winger but in the central area of the pitch, he's extremely valuable.

"I have no doubt that this transfer will prove to be a success story for Chelsea and for Kai.

"His best position is either a No 10 or in a 4-3-3, he can play as one of the two offensive No 8s in midfield.

Thomas Tuchel is hoping to get the best out of Havertz this season (

Image:

Getty Images)

"He's very versatile and almost the complete offensive midfielder with a complete 360-degree radar to score goals and provide assists.

"It's only a question of time for the whole league to see what kind of player Chelsea have signed."

Despite Rangnick's praise, Havertz is yet to show his best for the Blues - scoring six goals in 37 Premier League appearances.

He did, however, hit the winning goal in last season's Champions League final and is currently working under Tuchel, who adheres to Rangnick's gegenpressing philosophy.

Speaking in October, the Chelsea manager admitted he expects more from Havertz this season.

"He came back [in pre-season] and showed a different attitude in training, a mature way of training, a mature way of using his body," said Tuchel.

"Yes, I am not shy of saying we expected to see more of this in the games... we absolutely want more from Kai, more from what he can deliver because he is full of talent.

"Nobody is angry at him. But of course, once you play for Chelsea, we want to have the best out of you."

Read More

Read More