Chelsea are continuing their impressive transfer window, and are hedging closer to a club-record move for Kai Havertz. Having already racked up four major signings, plus two young centre-backs, manager Frank Lampard is about to get his fifth, and it’s the big one.
With the Deal Done, How Will Havertz fit in at Chelsea?
Favoured Position for Havertz
While he has played virtually everywhere in the attack at Bayer Leverkusen, the 21-year-old knows what his favourite position is, and surprisingly enough, it’s none of them.
In an interview back in November, Havertz stated his preferred position as an attacking number eight, specifically the inside-right channel. This is similar to the role Mason Mount plays, albeit on the left side.
While Mount’s pressing and work rate are fantastic either way, he does not need to do as much work defensively due to the presence of N’Golo Kante, who at times makes it seem like there are two of him with the ground he covers.
It makes his job a lot easier, and he is freed up to focus on starting attacks. If Havertz plays in that position, which seems the most likely, he will enjoy that same freedom to attack.
A Versatile Option
It should be pretty scary to opposition managers that Havertz has put up such excellent numbers in the Bundesliga supposedly playing out of position. With that said, he has played everywhere along the forward line.
Simply put, he can play anywhere, and he will play well. That’s a welcome boost to Lampard, who can rotate him around the team.
That comes in handy because, in midfield, there are many players who will get a chance next season; Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Mount, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek come to mind. All are worthy of a chance, and Havertz’s arrival won’t change that.
Similarly, many talented attackers such as Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham are all going to get game time next season as the Blues compete in four competitions.
With the plethora of options available all throughout the attacking third, Havertz’s ability to play so many different positions will be critical. In a season that features a jam-packed schedule with the late start, rotation will be the name of the game, and he helps with that a lot.
Havertz Won’t be the Star Anymore
One of the more intriguing aspects of Havertz’s move to Chelsea will be how he handles not being the main man anymore. In fact, much like last year, we really don’t know who will be the main man, if any.
Pulisic and Olivier Giroud carried the team in the restart, while Abraham was the star in the first half. However, with all the high-profile arrivals this summer, it’s unclear who will be the star.
The truth is there will most likely not be a star next season, which is fantastic. For years, Chelsea relied on Eden Hazard, and then he left with no star to replace him.
Instead, Lampard established a more team-based game, where they don’t rely on the individual brilliance of one player, but rather the cohesion of the whole team. The incredible thing is that now the Blues have so many of that Hazard-type of players, and they’re all playing together.
Ziyech, Pulisic, Havertz, Werner, Mount, Abraham, Giroud, and Hudson-Odoi are all capable of changing games with individual pieces of inspiration. That’s eight game-changers right there, not to mention the other midfielders like Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek.
Put all of these players together and you get a very scary attacking lineup. But Havertz also needs to realise that, while he was the main focus at Bayer Leverkusen, now he will just be another squad player, albeit an important one. In fact, he may not even be a guaranteed starter, regardless of his price tag.
Don’t forget, Pulisic played very sparingly in the first half of the season and didn’t score his first goal until November. Lampard will be cautious to ease the German into the team and not put too much pressure on him too soon as he gets acclimatised to his new club and his new role.