Soccer

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard makes Kai Havertz demand after early season frustrations

Chelsea: Kai Havertz says ‘my best position is as number ten’

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has urged fans to be patient with record signing Kai Havertz after his initial struggles since joining the club. The Blues paid out £72million to sign the attacker, but he has struggled to fit in at Stamford Bridge.

Havertz put in another sloppy performance on Saturday as Chelsea lost 1-0 to Everton.

The German youngster played on the right side of an attacking trio with Olivier Giroud through the middle and Timo Werner on the left.

The Blues were poor throughout, and were made to pay by a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty after Edouard Mendy took out Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Chelsea had chances, with Reece James forcing a good save out of Jordan Pickford before hitting the shortly after.

Ultimately, it was a disappointing defeat for Lampard’s title-chasers, who now find themselves in fifth place.

Havertz bore the brunt of the criticism, due in part to the lofty price Chelsea paid for him in the summer.

He became the most expensive acquisition from Lampard’s £250m spending spree when he joined from Bayer Leverkusen, but has been unable to live up to the hype so far.

The 21-year-old has found the net just once in the first ten games of his Premier League career, with only two assists to go with it.

However, Lampard insisted he still has confidence in the playmaker to come good at Stamford Bridge, and insisted he needs time.

Speaking in the wake of the Everton defeat, the Chelsea boss said that Havertz needs to be given time to become the player he knows he can be.

Lampard said: “In the modern day there is going to be criticism for every player of every club who loses a game,” he said.

“We should be patient with Havertz from the Chelsea end because he is a top-quality talent who has come into this league.

“He can play in any position across the front three and he has played on the right countless times before he played for Chelsea.

“People who want to jump on to criticise [should] just wait and give a young player time. I know the player that Kai Havertz is going to be.”

Havertz wasn’t the only player to garner criticism for his performance, with former Chelsea player Tony Cascarino tearing into Werner’s game.

He told talkSPORT that Werner and Havertz made it seem like Chelsea were playing with nine men on the pitch and didn’t give anything for Giroud to work with.

Cascarino said: “Timo Werner struggled, he hasn’t scored for six games. I saw him against Rennes and I thought he was really poor.

“He’s devastatingly quick and he’s got a goal record, I expect him to get one at Chelsea too.

“He found it very difficult [at Goodison Park]. Kai Havertz, too, was absolutely on the fringe of the game – and he’s another very talented player.

“It felt like, at times, they were playing with nine men. They just didn’t make anything happen. [Olivier] Giroud didn’t get any service.”

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