Chelsea boss Frank Lampard claims former Blues flops Mo Salah and Kevin de Bruyne are proof that £89m man Kai Havertz needs patience at Stamford Bridge
- Kai Havertz has looked out of sorts in the Chelsea first-team this season
- The 21-year-old midfielder has just one goal and three assists from 16 games
- But Frank Lampard insists his summer signing is showing positive signs
- The Blues boss has called on more patience to allow his signings to adapt
Frank Lampard has thrown his support behind Kai Havertz, claiming that Chelsea’s summer signing just needs time to adapt to life in the Premier League after a slow start.
Havertz was a high profile arrival from Bayer Leverkusen in a deal worth £89million but has since struggled to make an impact on the Blues midfield with just one goal and three assists from his 16 top flight appearances.
The 21-year-old hasn’t completed 90 minutes in the Premier League in three months and was once again taken off with just over 20 minutes to play mid-week as Chelsea flopped in a 2-0 defeat at Leicester City.
Kai Havertz has yet to find his best form since joining Chelsea in the summer for £89million
Lampard though has called for patience regarding the Germany international, using the examples of Mohamed Salah and Kevin de Bruyne who also struggled to impress at Stamford Bridge, before their talent eventually shone through to make them top flight stars at Liverpool and Manchester City respectively.
‘I can officially say from working with Kai that desire is absolutely not part of the issue. Is he as confident right now, at this minute, as he can be or will be? No, because he is having a tough moment, as are other members of the squad.’ he said when questioned on the midfielder’s work rate.
‘Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah are players who were here at a similar age to Kai. They went away and took time and came back, and now they are absolute Premier League legends.
The 21-year-old struggled again in the Blues’ midweek Premier League loss at Leicester City
Manager Frank Lampard though insists he has seen positive signs that Havertz will improve
‘I don’t want to build Kai up and put that pressure on his shoulders, but there clearly has to be a time with young players who come to this league, where people have to give them time, patience and sometimes a little bit of wriggle room.
‘It’s not that everything will just happen in a few months or in one performance.
‘He has a style that maybe when things aren’t coming off, people want to jump on. I’ve seen players like that over the years, some amazingly talented players. But, let me tell you, his desire, the ground he covers in games is big, the data and the stats are big, and he needs time because we’ve seen this story so many times with players.
‘I know him well, he’s a good lad and my job is to coach him like I coach the young players that came through last year in this team and made real names for themselves, to keep improving him.
Lampard compared Havertz’s struggles to former Chelsea flops Kevin de Bruyne (left) and Mohamed Salah who have since gone on to become stars at Manchester City and Liverpool
‘And now is the time to give him confidence and show my support for him and he’s got my absolute support.’
Chelsea host Luton Town on Sunday, hoping to turn around a poor season which sees them down in eighth spot having spent around £250million on signings in the summer.
As well as Havertz other big name arrivals including Timo Werner have struggled to adapt with his German compatriot having now gone over two months and 11 games without scoring a Premier League goal.
The pair arrived along with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, defenders Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell and winger Hakim Ziyech as part of a large squad overhaul but Lampard refused to believe that the squad has now become too bloated.
Fellow arrivals at Stamford Bridge including Timo Werner have also failed to produce their best but Lampard insists the summer’s £250m spend has not let to the squad becoming too big
‘I don’t agree with that,’ he added. ‘I had two other windows where I was here. The first window we couldn’t [sign players], the second window we didn’t bring anyone in.
‘Off the back of the year, the club’s trying to improve at all times and what we did do is try and invest predominantly in younger players and for that you maybe have to wait your time. They’re for the present and they’re also for the future.
‘I don’t see that [Chelsea signed too many players]. People can speculate as much as they like but for a club you’re always trying to move forward. I believe heavily that these players can be good players for the club.
‘They are very good players. At this moment it’s a tough time for everyone.’
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