Chelsea urged to ditch Kai Havertz and secure signing of Prem goalscorer who is ‘just what Potter needs’
Chelsea have been told to get rid of current striker Kai Havertz and land an effective Premier League attacker as his replacement.
Chelsea signed eight new players in the January transfer window. And three of them started in the Premier League match against west London rivals Fulham on Friday night.
Benoit Badiashile started at centre-back, Enzo Fernandez played in central midfield, while manager Graham Potter went with Mykhaylo Mudryk on the left wing.
Joining Mudryk in attack was Havertz, who was selected down the middle. Hakim Ziyech was given a spot on the right flank following his failed transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Despite Chelsea’s embarrassment of riches, they could not beat Fulham. They were held to a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge. Two of their biggest chances fell to Havertz and fellow striker David Datro Fofana. The latter came on for Mason Mount in the 75th minute.
Havertz lobbed Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno. However, his clever effort hit the post and was then get cleared off the line. Fofana, meanwhile, managed to get round Leno but saw his shot blocked by Cottagers defender Tim Ream.
Potter also has Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Joao Felix in his squad. However, Aubameyang has looked past his best in a Chelsea shirt and Felix – like Havertz – would rather operate as a second striker than lead the line.
When analysing the Chelsea draw, former Blues forward Tony Cascarino said Havertz is not the right man to spearhead Chelsea’s attack.
Pundit discusses Kai Havertz drawbacks
“You can point at the centre-forward position which many have and we’ll talk about ‘Chelsea didn’t buy a centre-forward’, which is a valid point,” Cascarino said on talkSPORT.
“I’m sure we’ll talk about Havertz in this conversation because Havertz doesn’t lead the line. All the things I got taught as a centre-forward, and all the centre-forwards I know, he doesn’t do a number of things very well. And Graham Potter doesn’t recognise that.
“Leading the line is basically bringing the team higher up the pitch. When the ball comes into you, you can keep it a little bit longer and the team can allow to get beyond you.
“He doesn’t do that. He does little flicks and touches, some of them come off and some don’t. But it’s not a centre-forward play.
“Even when he jumps in the air with his flick-ons, he doesn’t really flick it anywhere when he wins a header.
“You could argue ‘well he’s not the biggest’, Havertz now is 23, he’s six foot one, he could lead the line way better. I just don’t think he’s a natural centre-forward.”
In contrast to Havertz, Cascarino praised Fulham talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is enjoying a great season with 11 goals from 18 games so far. And the pundit said Mitrovic could help Potter out in terms of his attacking options.
Fulham star ‘just what Chelsea need’
“You’ve got to look at Mitrovic’s return as well, he’s been brilliant for them,” Cascarino added. “Even the way he plays, he holds up the ball. Just exactly what Chelsea need at the moment up front. Someone to bring that ball in, hold it up and lay it off, get in the box, get on crosses.
“That’s what you need and Mitro does that perfectly. He’s one of those players that you’d love to have in your side. And I know Potter will be saying ‘I wish I had someone like him.’”
This is not the first time Mitrovic’s potential transfer to Chelsea has been talked up. In early January, the Serbian was urged to reject a Manchester United move and go to Chelsea instead.
Mitrovic would certainly be a good capture for Potter’s side. He is a proven top-flight goalscorer who sends fear into opposition defenders.
However, Chelsea would struggle to raid Fulham for Mitrovic. After all, the striker is one of Fulham’s most important players and therefore they would not want to lose him.
If Fulham ever do have to sell Mitrovic, they would much rather let him go to a foreign club than a Prem rival, especially Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Chelsea and Liverpool could lose out on a Brighton star after Manchester City began chasing him.