Paul Merson believes that Chelsea currently look better without Kai Havertz, after the Blues’ recent winning run in his absence.
Havertz made his return from coronavirus self-isolation by playing 14 minutes in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Rennes.
Indeed, he tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Stamford Bridge meeting with Rennes and missed that 3-0 win, as well as victories over Sheffield United and Newcastle.
Since his absence, though, Chelsea have looked increasingly sharp and Merson highlighted how manager Frank Lampard has made his team tick without the £72million summer signing.
“Chelsea have found the right blend up front without Kai Havertz in the team and he might find himself on the fringes now,” the pundit told the Daily Star.
“It’s so competitive there now that if you find yourself out of the team it could be hard to get back in. Havertz has missed a few games because he tested positive for Coronavirus, and Chelsea have won them all.
“They’ve had Tammy Abraham up front and Timo Werner playing wider, and it has suited them. It looks like their best system.
“Havertz wasn’t pulling up any trees before he missed those games. He’s a young lad who needs time to settle.”
The Germany international is back fit and raring to go ahead of Sunday’s crunch clash with Chelsea.
But Merson believes that Lampard should resist the urge to restore the midfielder to his starting lineup.
Havertz should stay on fringes
“I wouldn’t throw him back in against Tottenham because they look better without him right now,” the pundit added.
“Spurs did exactly what I thought against Manchester City and proved they are going to be contenders. But I actually think Chelsea will test them more.
“City were trying to score the perfect goal. Chelsea will be more direct and have more pace.
“I don’t think Spurs can have 35% possession against them and win.”