It went a little under the radar last week that a new forward was added to the first-team roster on Chelsea’s website. Well, when we say new…
The player in question was in the Blues’ squad last season following a summer switch from the Bundesliga. And he struck nine goals in all goals in all competitions, one of which will forever be remembered by the club’s supporters.
Yet this was all achieved while – somewhat understandably – being listed as a midfielder. It was time for a change this summer.
Those who are tasked with overseeing the Chelsea website did the necessary. Finally, Kai Havertz’s name sits among the club’s forwards.
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The 22-year-old’s first season at Stamford Bridge wasn’t easy. He was crowbarred into the side under Frank Lampard and suffered badly after contracting Covid-19 in November. There was also a mysterious injury that kept him out for a month soon after Thomas Tuchel took charge.
Yet during the final weeks of the campaign, things started to come together for Havertz. He scored big goals and produced impressive performances as a false nine. The coup de grace came in the Champions League final as he struck the winner against Manchester City in Porto.
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Havertz went from that success to representing Germany at Euro 2020. The tournament didn’t go well for Die Mannschaft – they were knocked out by England in the first knockout stage – but Havertz performed well and it was notable how the former Bayer Leverkusen star was willing to take responsibility in possession when others were not.
After Germany’s elimination, Havertz headed off on his holidays. He has spent the last three weeks off, recovering and relaxing. But football.london understands he will return to Cobham in the coming days to begin his second campaign as a Chelsea player.
Last season, there were great expectations placed upon Havertz following his £71million signing. They still remain and are potentially even greater given his decisiveness in the Champions League final and performances at Euro 2020.
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The hope among the Chelsea fanbase is that the forthcoming campaign is the one in which Havertz establishes himself as one of the game’s biggest stars. He certainly has the talent and potential to do so. What will be interesting, however, is where he fits into Tuchel’s side.
As mentioned above, Havertz’s best performances for the Blues came as a false nine. The role didn’t fix him to a set position within the attack, he was free to roam across the pitch, drop deep when required, and break behind defences when possible.
He did this to great effect. Real Madrid’s backline, in particular, struggled with the constant and intelligent movement of Havertz when Chelsea faced Los Blancos in the Champions League semi-final.
However, if the Blues get their way in the transfer market, that position will no longer be available for Havertz. The hope is it will be filled by Erling Haaland.
Havertz will be dropped in elsewhere, probably on the right of the attack. It’s the position he was used in the first half of the Champions League final.
Against Man City in Porto, Timo Werner was used through the middle and it was the German’s job to force back Pep Guardiola’s defence and open up space for Havertz to expoilt, which the latter did excellently for his goal.