Kai Havertz says he moved to Chelsea because of the lure of playing under Frank Lampard, and admitted his manager is already shaping him into a better player.
Lampard backed the 21-year-old to realise his “top-class” potential at the club after he recovered from his coronavirus illness to start in the side’s last two games against FC Krasnodar and Leeds United.
In an interview with Sky in Germany, Havertz returned the praise and underlined the influence of the former England international in his progress as a midfielder.
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“He is very important to me,” he said. “We all know him as a player, I would say here in England and internationally in world football he is one of the greatest legends.
“Of course, having someone like that as a coach cannot be taken for granted. I appreciate that very much. As a coach he is very helpful for me, he can teach me a lot. That’s also because I’m playing a bit in his position.
“Frank also was very dangerous in front of goal. That’s why it fits very well and I’m very grateful that he makes me better day by day.
“It was clear to me in advance that the manager would be very important to me. Of course the club is the most important thing, but there needs to be a good manager too.
“That worked very well for me with Frank from the start. The talks were very good and it didn’t take me long to sign for Chelsea because of him.”
Chelsea took last summer’s transfer window by storm, signing Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva for an overall sum in the region of £250m.
But despite the array of stars who arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer, Havertz revealed it was a longer-serving team-mate who made a strong impression in his first few months at the club.
“The one who really impressed me is Olivier Giroud,” he said. “I wouldn’t have expected that before. He’s an amazing player.
“Playing with him as a striker is just fun. It’s not for nothing that he holds records in the French national team. He has a lot of games and a lot of goals under his belt.
“He’s also a great guy as a person. Basically it’s great fun in the group because the quality is very high everywhere.”
Havertz also says he has the Premier League trophies in his sights but admits the strong start to the season should not let the players get carried away.
“When you play at Chelsea and you notice the size of the club when you walk through the rooms – what pictures are hanging here, what players were here – then the goal is clearly to win titles as soon as possible,” he said.
“That’s why we play in this club. Our goal is of course the Premier League title because we have the quality for it. But leaning too far out of the window after 12 games doesn’t make sense.”
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