It is always concerning when a club pays a massive transfer fee for a player, and things don’t quite go according to plan. This is what happened when Chelsea bought Kai Havertz last summer. But recent games have indicated that the player has finally found his form and is going to be as much of an asset to the London club as he was when he played in the Bundesliga. This newfound confidence and success on the pitch should undoubtedly be concerning for the opposition.
Speaking last month, the player confessed that having scored five goals in 29 appearances for his club, he has let them down and makes no excuses for his performance. The German player came on transfer from Bayern Leverkusen for a fee of £72 million. Havertz is only 21 years old and still has plenty to learn but insists that moving to a new club and country is not responsible for his poor performance. During the interview in March, he was pretty clear that only he could change what was happening, and remarkably, it seems that he has managed to pull this off. Fans and fellow players might be slightly more sympathetic as they understand how hard it is to set up so far away from home, especially during the lockdown. The young player has admitted to missing his family but says that is not an excuse for poor performance on the field.
On the Up
Chelsea was certainly on a better form when they took on Crystal Palace, securing a 4-1 win against the team. Not only did he provide a cracking assist, but one of the goals was directly off the boot of Havertz, which apparently comes as no surprise to his teammates. Mason Mounts is Chelsea’s midfielder and speaks highly of his teammate, confirming that the 21-year-old has a fantastic goal scoring instinct as well as making some first-rate play. During the match, he was very supportive of his team, and the assist he provided to Christian Pulisic almost led to a perfect goal but was saved in the end. However, this was certainly not down to Havertz passing skill or assist. It certainly seems as if the homesick blues have lifted, and he can now confidently wear his number nine blue shirt stepping up to be an amazing asset and team player.
Some pundits have compared his play to that of Diego Costa, the club’s former striker; however, manager Thomas Tuchel says this is not the case. He is also keen to stress that he is not looking for a replacement in character for Costa. Costa was a fiery attacker who liked to play in an enraged manner, but the manager stated he would not demand this from his new star. Havertz brings his own style to the game and is a quiet character that has an awareness of his talent. The manager feels that, given his age, Havertz is somewhat out of his comfort zone. However, coming from a quieter club-like Leverkusen to a much more demanding role in Chelsea, the youngster is coping well. The Chelsea boss was also complimentary of his performance when the club took on Everton and Atletico and understood just how challenging the game against Porto was. He said there is always an opportunity to claim your second chance when a game doesn’t go your way, and the Porto match was the pivotal moment for Havertz, who has since shown that he is worth his money and potentially has a lot more to come.
Second Run In
Following the first match with Porto, both teams are going to be focusing on improving performance, and this amazing turnaround could not have been any better timing-wise. Of course, Porto will also be trying to improve their game and need to find more robust attacking tactics. However, despite their endeavours, Chelsea is the favourites to claim their place in the Champions League semi-final and should see off their competition, especially with a stronger performance from Havertz. The blues are the bookie’s favourites offering 17/20 odds compared to 10/3 for Porto. The star of the match is predicted to be Havertz with 7/4 to score a goal at any time during the game. Despite the fact that he has been something of a weak link, the Chelsea team remains on a winning streak, with their Champions League matches having nine unbeaten in a row, seven of these being wins.
There is still certainly a lot to be done this season for the Chelsea team; they have yet to face Manchester City in the FA Cup, Brighton and Hove Albion, and West Ham United in the Premier League. Then the UEFA Champions League match against the quarter-final 4 winners on April 27, all before the month ends. May looks just as busy with Premier League games against Fulham, Manchester City, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Leicester City. They also need to find time to take on the quarter-final 4 winners in the second match for the UEFA Champions League on the 4th of May. Therefore, it is going to be imperative that the team stay on top form, and it would be perfect F habits could maintain his newfound state. It certainly seems as if he has now found his feet and that Chelsea and Tuchel are the ideal combinations for him to thrive.