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Chelsea are on the verge of completing a club-record £90million deal to sign Kai Havertz – but what does his arrival mean for some of their current first-team stars?
Havertz has left Germany’s training camp following their 1-1 draw with Spain on Thursday night and is now heading to London to undergo his Blues medical.
The west London club are set to pay an initial £72million fee to Bayer Leverkusen, with a further £18million to come in add-ons.
After racking up 150 appearances for Leverkusen at the tender age of 21, Havertz has gained a reputation as one of the most promising youngsters in European football.
Nevertheless, the attacking midfielder’s impending arrival is likely to concern a few current Chelsea men.
Mason Mount is one of the players in question, having just enjoyed an encouraging breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge.
The 21-year-old midfielder became a first-team regular under Frank Lampard after spending the 2018/19 campaign on loan at his Derby County side, where he played a crucial part in their run to the Championship play-off final.
A return of seven goals and six assists in his first top-flight season would have undoubtedly impressed Lampard, but Mount could struggle to receive another 32 league starts in the coming season.
Should the Chelsea boss stick with a 4-3-3 formation, Havertz would be expected to sit alongside N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in the middle of the park.
Depending on the calibre of opponent, Lampard sometimes adjusts his setup to more adventurous 4-2-3-1, which would see Havertz push up and form a three-man attacking midfield with Christian Pulisic and new signing Hakim Ziyech.
Mount, who thrives mainly as a No.10, is capable of operating out wide, yet Ziyech’s arrival and Pulisic’s stunning form at the back end of last season makes that an unrealistic solution.
Chelsea star Giroud admits his relationship with Lampard has “clearly” changed
Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are also likely to be sweating over their respective futures amid Chelsea's club-record move for Havertz.
The former, who scored just one league goal in 2019/20, has failed to hold down a regular starting spot under Lampard and was even called out by the Blues boss for his lack of professionalism in November of last year.
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As for Loftus-Cheek, he spent the majority of last season recovering from a long-term Achilles injury, meaning he now finds himself behind the likes of Mount and Kovacic in the Blues pecking order.
If Lampard’s star performers maintain fitness over the course of the campaign, both the 24-year-old academy graduate and Barkley could find starting opportunities hard to come by in 2020/21.
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