Former Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot thinks Kai Havertz needs time to fit into Frank Lampard’s style of play.
The £71m recruit has yet to get up to speed with the Premier League.
The 21-year-old has made 10 Premier League starts, but scored just once and he was removed on 71 minutes in the defeat by Wolves this week.
Frank Lampard admitted his man was off form against Wolves, but says he will come good.
“Kai can play better, we know that, and he’ll know that himself tonight,” Lampard told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“He’s going to be a top player for the club, I keep saying the same thing. Tonight wasn’t the best for him, neither the best for some others.”
And Melchiot also believes Havertz needs time to adapt to a style that is unfamiliar to him.
Ex-Blues star Melchiot told talkSPORT: “I knew Kai Havertz before he came to Chelsea. I knew Kai was a great talent.
“The only difference I see is that in the system Chelsea play he comes from the outside, but in Germany he was a No.10 or a striker.
“He had more freedom because the team was built around him.
“When he comes to Chelsea, he’s not going to get that! They have a player that has to get used to a certain way of playing and that takes time.
“People don’t expect him to need more time because of the price tag; people want him to fire straight away.”
Rating Havertz’s performance at Molineux, former defender Frank 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.”