Thomas Tuchel is running the rule over a surprising new role for Kai Havertz as he considers how best to get the best out of Chelsea’s £71million signing at Stamford Bridge.
It has been a tough start to life in London for the 21-year-old since a summer switch from Bayer Leverkusen. Havertz has endured a bout of coronavirus and had numerous small injuries which have limited his game time.
Since he swapped the Bundesliga for the Premier League, Havertz has scored only five goals in all competitions. Indeed, three of them came in his third game against Barnsley in the EFL Cup back in September.
But new boss Tuchel is confident his fellow German will hit the heights he reached at Bayer Leverkusen soon enough. He’s also confirmed that Havertz will be part of the squad to face Manchester United on Sunday.
“Since I arrived, the only thing that kept him from making a big impact is his injury, nothing else,” Tuchel said.
However, Tuchel is not thinking about that and insists his immediate focus is on getting the best out of Havertz.
“I see a committed guy, I see a guy who made a brave decision to move abroad at a young age and to go out of his comfort zone and accept a big challenge in a big team, in the biggest League.
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“I see a totally clear guy who is totally aware of that, full of talent, unlimited talent and I see a player who will have a big impact in Chelsea, I’m absolutely convinced.
“The mix gives me that feeling that he can have a big role in this club and he is absolutely determined to fulfil his role.
“We will find this role and now we need to give him the time it takes. But he is ready, we are very happy he is back in the squad and he will lift our offensive potential there is no doubt.”
Tuchel considers advanced role for ‘unique’ Havertz
Havertz was used in a variety of positions by Tuchel’s predecessor Frank Lampard. That included as a number 10 but also in central midfield and out wide on occasions.
However, Tuchel is looking at playing Havertz as a more out-and-out forward.
“He is a unique player. It’s not so clear where he needs to settle, does he need to settle on one special position? Or is he kind of a hybrid player?” Tuchel reflected.
“Today, I would say he’s in between a nine and a 10, something in between.”
Listing Havertz’s qualities, Tuchel is adamant there’s a very good player waiting to be unleashed.
“He’s very comfortable in the box, he’s very comfortable in high positions. He’s very good in offensive headers, he has good timing to arrive in the box. Kai’s a good finisher, has good composure in the box, around the box. He’s is also very comfortable in high positions so between nine and 10.”
Havertz made his return from injury off the bench during Tuesday’s 1-0 win at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.