Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf is baffled why Kai Havertz has yet to make a mark at Stamford Bridge following his big-money summer move.
Frank Lampard’s men had the chance to go top of the Premier League on Tuesday evening.
But the German playmaker was again a marginal figure as the Blues slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Wolves.
He was hooked in the 71st minute, five minutes after Wolves had equalised.
It got worse for Chelsea. Having seen Olivier Giroud’s 49th-minute strike wiped out by Daniel Podence, Pedro Neto gave Wolves a last-gasp winner.
Havertz has failed to score a Premier League or Champions League goal for Chelsea in an underwhelming start to his Blues’ career.
That’s quite a contrast to how he finished the previous campaign at Bayer Leverkusen. From mid-February until the close of the season he fired in 13 goals in 19 games for the Bundesliga outfit.
Leboeuf knows the 21-year-old is a huge talent but is wondering why Chelsea fans are seeing only glimpses.
Rating Havertz’s performance at Molineux, Lebouef told ESPN: “Almost invisible.
“I touched on the point some weeks ago. We heard Frank Lampard say, ‘no, we need to give him time’.
“But I don’t know, it’s something that I don’t like, the way sometimes it feels like he’s not there. That he’s not trying to compensate for a lack of confidence with a desire or just being a warrior, showing us that, ‘okay, I’m not good at the moment, but I’m going to fight for the club and not be invisible’.
“We share texts during the game and we were wondering if he was on the field. You can be bad – [Timo] Werner didn’t have a good game – but we saw him trying to get something going.
“We don’t see Havertz getting anything. I’m very concerned about that guy.
“I don’t forget the price they paid and I know he’s only 21. But we see players who arrived last summer who didn’t need much time to adapt and being very influential.
“I don’t understand what Havertz is doing right now but I want answers.”
Lampard keeping the faith in Havertz
Chelsea boss Lampard revealed ahead of Tuesday’s game that Havertz had been affected more than others after catching Covid-19 .
“He was very ill and struggling for a while and not all players have it like that, some are symptom-free,” said Lampard.
“I had to factor that in so that’s why it took two or three weeks before he is starting a game again after he returned from Covid.
“Long term, I have no concerns. In fact, I feel quite the opposite.
“He is going to be a huge player for this football club, in the Premier League, as he has all the attributes and attitude to be an absolutely top-class player for the league and in the world.
“That’s how highly I rate him and I think people that analyse him, it can be quick reactions at times involving price tags and so on.”