Bayer Leverkusen manager Peter Bosz has claimed that Hakim Ziyech’s role for Chelsea is partly behind Kai Havertz’ recent drop-off in form.
Havertz made an instant impact following his £72million arrival from Leverkusen in September.
He scored four goals and notched three assists but then contracted coronavirus in November. The German suffered badly with Covid-19 and, as such, boss Frank Lampard has continually defended his drop in performances.
The midfielder showed signs of a resurgence by contributing to two of Chelsea‘s four goals against Morecambe in the FA Cup.
However, Leverkusen boss Bosz has claimed that Ziyech is also not helping his former player’s cause. Like the Germany international, winger Ziyech joined Chelsea in the recent transfer window, signing from Ajax.
“Havertz’s greatest quality lies in the opponent’s box. There he has to come to score goals,” Bosz told VL.
“At Chelsea, he now also plays further back, because Hakim Ziyech pushes him away.
“Then Havertz does not get enough into the penalty area.”
Since getting the all-clear from coronavirus infection, Havertz’s only direct Premier League contribution came as an assist in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.
What’s more, he has struggled for minutes, often appearing as a substitute.
Bosz outlined how he used to get the best out of the 21-year-old, who scored 46 goals and laid on 36 others in 150 Leverkusen matches.
Bosz outlines Havertz tactics
“We actually played 3-4-3 offensively with two 10s and a square in midfield,” he said. “Against the ball I let Havertz swerve to the right.
“Against the ball is not his greatest quality, but opponents did not dare to let him stand.
“If his direct opponent comes on, their central defender comes in a one-on-one with Havertz when they lose the ball.
“Often these are not the fastest players. So that emerging back is automatically recalled.”