Tuchel takes shackles off Chelsea summer signing with new instructions

Date published: Friday 12th March 2021 1:39 - Samuel Bannister

Kai Havertz TEAMtalk

Thomas Tuchel wants Kai Havertz to play with freedom after outlining where he thinks his best role for Chelsea will be.

Havertz arrived at Chelsea for big money in the summer, making the move from Bayer Leverkusen. He was the most expensive recruit of their huge spending spree.

However, it has taken the German international some time to settle. He only has one Premier League goal and two assists in the competition so far.

Havertz showed signs of progress in his most recent appearance, though. Playing as a false nine against Everton, his shot was deflected in by defender Ben Godfrey as an own goal to give them the lead, before winning the penalty that led to their second goal.

In between all that, he also had a goal of his own ruled out by VAR for handball.

His overall performance suggested he can still show his potential at Stamford Bridge – and provided an intriguing glimpse into where Tuchel may deploy him in upcoming games.

Quizzed about Havertz’s best position, Tuchel told a press conference on Friday: “The position between a nine and ten is pretty much his best position.

“He has the freedom to drop, to switch positions. I feel very confident with him in high positions, I don’t want to have him behind the ball.

“He needs to be high up the pitch and he feels comfortable behind opponents, between the lines, and in little pockets.”

At the opposite end of the pitch, another player who took his chance to impress in that game was Andreas Christensen.

Standing in for Thiago Silva in the middle of the back three, the Dane made his presence known. However, once Silva returns, there will be questions of whether they can play together.

Tuchel believes they can, insisting: “They can for sure play together. I am sure Andreas can play on both sides of the back three and they can play together if we play a back four.

“In the back three, I think the position in the middle is the best for Thiago.

“For Andreas, it’s the same level but he can play on either side too.”


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Silva to miss Leeds game

Tuchel will not be able to prove whether the pair can play together on Saturday, though, as Silva remains out with injury for their trip to Leeds.

Striker Tammy Abraham also remains on the sidelines, giving Tuchel some cause for concern.

The manager said: “Thiago had a little setback in training at the end of the session, the day before yesterday, he felt something around the same area he was injured. He will be out, the same for Tammy who still has the ankle pain.

“I’m a bit concerned [about Abraham] because the pain from the tackle against Newcastle is still there.

“It’s been a long time since he’s been 100% free and comfortable in training. Even if he finishes in training, I can see he isn’t 100% free.

“I have complete trust in our medical department and they will take care of him.

“Tammy had to leave the pitch during the warm-up yesterday and he will get all the time he needs. It’s important he feels zero pain and then we can think about his comeback.”

READ MORE: Tuchel offers hope to Chelsea star who may be growing ‘impatient’

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