Kai Havertz believes he is ideally suited to the position he was asked to play in by Thomas Tuchel during Chelsea’s win over Everton last night. The £70million summer signing from Bayer Leverkusen has endured a difficult start to his Chelsea career with several injuries and a bout of Covid-19 significant factors in his failure to make an impact, until now.
Havertz’s German compatriot, Tuchel, has been charged with getting the best out of the 21-year-old and another struggling Bundesliga recruit, Timo Werner, having replaced Frank Lampard back in January. The former PSG and Borussia Dortmund coach is confident he is capable of unlocking Havertz’s full potential and outlined his vision for what he termed a ‘hybrid’ player last month.
He said: ‘‘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? Today, I would say he’s in between a nine and a 10, something in between.
‘He’s very comfortable in the box; he’s very comfortable in high positions, he’s very good at offensive headers, he has good timing to arrive in the box, good finishing, good composure in the box, around the box, and very comfortable in high positions so between nine and 10.’
And it was in that role that Havertz delivered arguably his most polished performance in a Chelsea shirt to date as the Blues cemented their place in the top for with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Everton
I played like a false nine, I had the freedom to go everywhere I wanted to go, and I think that’s good for me,’ said Havertz afterwards. ‘I like to have freedom on the pitch. I think I was lucky to score a goal but I’m very happy with the performance, not only from me but the whole group. ‘I think we can do a lot better than today, but the result was a win so of course we’re very happy with it.