Outspoken pundit Paul Merson has claimed a major Chelsea summer signing is “out of his depth” and “looks like Mesut Ozil at the moment”.
The Blues have thrown their name into the hat of genuine title contenders this season.
A fine start was tempered by back-to-back defeats to Everton and Wolves, but hopes remain high of a sustained title challenge.
A key factor behind their resurgence has come from the fresh impetus provided by their summer acquisitions.
Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell have transformed Chelsea’s defence, while Timo Werner has contributed goals despite not matching the lofty heights he reached with RB Leipzig as of yet.
One player who has struggled to make an impact thus far, however, is Kai Havertz.
The ex-Bayer Leverkusen playmaker arrived for a fee set to rise to £71m, but Merson has not been impressed.
“Ozil used to get major stick because he didn’t always seem interested. But Havertz looks like that sometimes now as well.
“He looks like he’s out of his depth or doesn’t really want to be here. But you have to remember this is a young player who’s come to a different country.”
Merson offers Havertz solution
Offering a way in which Chelsea could begin to see the best of their German midfielder, Merson added: “He’s had a difficult time here and when he was ill with Covid, Chelsea actually looked better without him,” he added.
“I don’t know why Frank Lampard threw him right back into the team because his confidence looks shot.
“If you spend the amount of money they did on him, you want more than a utility player, so I’m surprised he’s played so many positions.”
“I think he’s struggling at the moment and he needs to come off the bench for a few games against tiring teams, get his confidence back.”