Kai Havertz has had a reasonably slow start to his Chelsea career. Despite notching his first ever hat trick in professional football, he’s struggled to find himself showing consistency. This is a great hinderance for the £76 million man. He’s had great expectations thrust upon him when he arrived at Stamford Bridge. Being honest, it’s been a slow start to life in West London. However, his performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers has shown his potential and all his abilities. He gave a full display of talent in Thomas Tuchel’s first game as Chelsea boss.
Havertz started to do things we never saw him do under former Blues boss Frank Lampard. He had a run about halfway through the first half in which he showed off his pace and control. It was only because of a great defensive effort from Conor Coady that his shot was weak enough for Wolves goalkeeper to hold onto. His passing, for the most part, looked cleaner and crisper. It’s like he was suddenly seeing the entire pitch again.
He’s starting to show signs of becoming everything he was projected to be when he was a member of Bayer Leverkusen. We’ve always seen the high work rate of the German, and we’ve seen flashes of the brilliance he showed in the Bundesliga. However, we’ve never seen him do that for an entire game against elite competition like this. Now, nothing materialized because of his skills. The game did end 0-0 but he was such a beacon of hope that you cannot appreciate how bright his future looks at this moment in time.
If this continues under the guidance of Thomas Tuchel, Kai Havertz development could happen overnight. He arrived late in London and he was almost always behind the eight-ball with Frank Lampard in charge. However, a fresh start under a manager who speaks German which eliminates any potential language barrier, as well as a sense of familiarity may help bring Havertz comfortability in his new club. It might very well see him turn the rare flashes of excellence we saw so occasionally into a genuinely world class attacking midfielder. His drive with the ball could be a very important part of the club going forward. Especially if he discovers his once highly praised versatility and could do it in all areas of the pitch. That may turn the club around entirely.
You may have read that last sentence and said to yourself “Okay, this man is insane. Kai Havertz on his own could change the club around, what a clown”. All of that is true, and yet, he could. It’s no secret right now Chelsea’s biggest need is a striker who can actually score on a regular basis. One of the positions Havertz can play when he’s going is up front. He’s capable of leading the line. Especially if it’s a two striker formation playing off someone like Timo Werner and he’s either feeding balls through to his German compatriot or he’s on the receiving end. I know it’s unlikely we see Thomas Tuchel’s trademark 4-2-2-2 for a little while until he gets used to the squad, but after what I personally saw today with Havertz, I have a lot of high hopes again. Am I preparing myself to be let down again? Probably. But hey, can it be worse than the expectations we all had for them before the season in comparison to what has actually happened with the German? I really shouldn’t ask that because it will somehow be worse.
Now, something I should say with Havertz is that we all know he had COVID-19 and it got bad with him. He was still not 100% in the following weeks. The more time that passes and the healthier he gets, and the further away from the effects of the virus Kai gets, he’s going to get better.
I would like to assume that Havertz will develop faster under Tuchel because there’s no confusion in the wishes and desires of the gaffer. It’s a time for optimism at Stamford Bridge, this is a class manager with one of the best squads in Europe. If Thomas Tuchel gets the best out of this squad, the possibilities are endless. And Kai Havertz specifically could be the main benefactor.