Kai Havertz: Two Reasons Behind the Chelsea Star’s Slump

It’s no secret that Kai Havertz hasn’t had the best start to his Chelsea career. In his first 16 matches, he has four goals, three of which came in a Carabao Cup match against Championship side Barnsley. The only other goal he scored was a tap-in against Southampton.

After yet another lacklustre display against Everton, fans must be left wondering why the club spent £75 million on him. Of course, being played out of position doesn’t help, but it doesn’t justify such a poor, disinterested performance.

So far, he has shown glimpses of what he can offer, but the reasons he is not succeeding at the moment are very simple: his confidence and his attitude.

Two Main Reasons for Havertz Slump in Form

Post-COVID Lack of Cutting-Edge for Kai Havertz

While Havertz wasn’t playing superbly well before either, there might just be a very simple explanation for his lack of confidence, an explanation which the world knows all too well at this stage: the Coronavirus pandemic.

Before the last international break, Chelsea announced that Havertz had tested positive and was forced to self-isolate for 14 days. Not only was he infected, but the German showed some fairly severe symptoms, as manager Frank Lampard confirmed.

“I said it before but I want to make it clear that he had strong symptoms of COVID,” the Blues boss said of Havertz in a recent press conference. “He was ill and struggling for a while and not all players have it like that, some are symptom-free.”

He was certainly dealt a bad hand, especially since his form was beginning to pick up a bit before his COVID case. It may explain why he’s lacking match sharpness, and why he does not seem all too confident on the ball.

Several times against Everton, he had the opportunity to drive at the opposing defence from an advanced position. However, he looked hesitant, sluggish, and frankly scared to take people on.

This is not a time for Chelsea to panic, as he still needs time to readjust to his pre-COVID form, as well the general bedding-in period at a foreign club. But for a player like Havertz, whose main skill is his creativity, he needs to regain that confidence soon. Otherwise, this rough patch could very well continue.

Attitude on the Pitch Could be a Concern for Chelsea

Kai Havertz is by no means an entitled youngster, nor has he been a selfish player at Chelsea. He usually works hard for the team, and his ability to play in several different positions bodes well for Lampard. However, the concern is his disinterested attitude on the pitch.

Some may interpret his body language as simply calm and nonchalant, but in truth, it is more than that. Regardless of a player’s quality, if a midfielder is not visibly in the game, he won’t have a major impact.

It’s not about how many times they recover the ball, it goes beyond that. It’s about their general desire to make things happen for their team.

Watch Kevin De Bruyne sprint 20 yards at defenders just to put them off-balance. The Belgian, arguably the best player in the Premier League, has the grit and determination to go along with his quality, which makes him even better.

At times, Havertz will lose the ball and not go all out to win it back. If his opponent runs past him, he most likely won’t sprint to chase him. While he exudes class with his touches, he seems to be lacking that fight at the moment.

That fight, incidentally, is what has made his teammate Mason Mount so indispensable. Mount will be a starter at Chelsea for years to come, and that’s because he combines skill with work rate. He’s an excellent passer, he’s an equally good tackler, and as good of a dribbler that he is, he’s just as good at applying the high press.

Kai Havertz is incredibly talented, but if he wants to cement his place in the Chelsea lineup, he should look no further than his midfield partner for inspiration, and start showing more desire and hunger on the pitch.

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