Chelsea: Kai Havertz says ‘my best position is as number ten’
Kai Havertz’s former head coach Peter Bosz has explained to Frank Lampard why the midfielder’s form since arriving at Chelsea is being hampered by the way he is using Hakim Ziyech. Havertz became the Blues’ record transfer when he signed from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer for a fee of around £71.6 million, which could eventually rise to as much as £89m.
The 21-year-old is seen as the most promising talent to emerge from German football in recent years and had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic impacting clubs’ ability to spend big, would likely have had offers from several of Europe’s biggest clubs.
But despite his undeniable talent, Havertz has really struggled to replicate the form he showed in the Bundesliga while playing in the blue of Chelsea.
If you exclude the hat-trick he scored in the EFL Cup rout over Barnsley in September, Havertz has only managed another two goals and six assists in the other 21 outings in all competitions this season.
Havertz returned to scoring ways against League Two Morecambe in the FA Cup but that was his only start since December 15.
JUST IN: Arsenal ‘reach agreement’ to terminate Mesut Ozil’s contract
At the beginning of this season, Havertz was often used in a number 10 role as part of a 4-2-3-1 formation, with it hoped this would help utilise his goal-scoring talent.
However, recently, with Chelsea using a 4-3-3, he has been used more often than not in a deeper central midfield position.
Havertz also played up front against Liverpool shortly after his arrival and has been used sparingly from an attacking right position also.
His versatility is seen as a major strength but Lampard has yet to find a position which has really suited Havertz, who has also had to deal with the after effects of being bedridden with Covid back in November.
Australian Open: 47 players in quarantine after three COVID cases [NEWS]
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury offered Oleksandr Usyk solution by Hearn [NEWS]
Lewis Hamilton contract talks with Mercedes have ‘sticking points’ [OPINION]
Chelsea fans will be hoping Havertz can soon replicate the form which saw him score 18 goals and create nine assists in 45 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen last season.
This followed the 2019/20 campaign when the German star scored 20 times in 42 appearances and his manager at Leverkusen believes he knows where the problem lies for Chelsea.
Bosz was not afraid to use Havertz’s versatility and also utilised him in deeper midfield positions and centrally as a number 10 or as a striker. But the Dutchman believes he was able to get the best out of the player when he was playing in an attacking right position.
Bosz told Dutch football magazine VI: “Havertz’s greatest quality lies in the opponent’s box. There, he has to arrive to score goals.
“At Chelsea, he now also plays further back, because Hakim Ziyech pushes him away. Then Havertz does not get into the penalty area enough.”
At Leverkusen Bosz would often give Havertz somewhat of a free role when playing as one of the attacking players behind the striker.
He explained: “We actually played 3-4-3 offensively with two number 10s and a square in midfield.
“Against the ball I let Havertz swerve to the right. Against the ball is not his greatest quality, but opponents did not dare to let him stand. If his direct opponent comes on, their central defender comes in a one-on-one with Havertz when they lose the ball.
“Often these are not the fastest players. So that emerging [full] back is automatically recalled.”
His current boss Lampard has been patient with Havertz and has called on fans and pundits alike to give him time to adjust to English football.
The club legend recently highlighted the case of his former team-mate Eden Hazard, who after a slow start to life at Stamford Bridge went on to be the team’s talisman, scoring 110 goals and producing 92 assists in 352 appearances in all competitions.
“The people that question them should look at other top players that have come at a young age to this country,” Lampard told talkSPORT.
“Eden Hazard being a great example. He came here and became one of our greatest players ever.
“It’s not an easy transition to this league. It’s a hard league and I think people that question them should give them time because they are great lads and we signed them for now and the future.
“I understand the questions as it’s the world we live in. They will prove to be big players for the club.”
Source: Read Full Article