Kai Havertz Wembley Showing Should Ensure Permanent Chelsea Starting Place

Kai Havertz

It feels strange dedicating something to a player on the losing side of a cup final. But, in a way, that’s the biggest compliment a player can receive. That their performance was so impressive, even without silverware, it left many in awe. And that is very much the case with Kai Havertz.

Starting ahead of the recently struggling Romelu Lukaku, Havertz had the chance to grab ahold of that number nine spot; a chance he took to confirm once and for all that he, and not Lukaku, is the big-money signing to turn to.

Kai Havertz Proved Once and for All That He is the Go-to Forward at Chelsea

From Sheepish Forward to Chelsea’s Conductor

On a pitch filled to the brim with world class options, from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, to Mason Mount, it was the 22-year-old German who stood out as the wisest of the lot.

Every piece of quality came through the ex-Bayer Leverkusen man; the game was played at his tempo, and if it sped up, it was of his own accord. That is the mark of a truly great player, too. Think Dimitar Berbatov and, in an even bigger praise, Teddy Sherringham. Those are the calibre of players that Havertz reminded many of, as he made Wembley look like a stroll in the park; made the David vs Goliath battle up against Liverpool’s backline look more like mere mortal vs mere mortal.

For the first time in his Chelsea career, Havertz was the main man. He no longer looked like the sheepish youngster fresh from the joys of a chaotic, open Bundesliga. Instead, he looked like the conductor of this Chelsea team that could have completed their sweet symphony had it not been for the linesman’s flag to deny both Havertz – in what was a routine call – and Lukaku in what was a moment of controversy.

Consistency Key

Now, it is about consistency for the young forward. In a game where he created five chances – the first to do so in the Carabao Cup final since David Silva – Havertz proved to the world just how capable he is. But, now he needs to provide the same Berbatov-esque performances week in, week out. That’s when he will reach a new level; that’s when Chelsea will reach a new level.

Where Thomas Tuchel goes from here is anyone’s guess. All of a sudden, his £97.5 million striker doesn’t even seem worth half of that. And, as that problem emerges, a solution has shown itself at the perfect time. That solution, the German forward that put on a false nine show to remember against the manager that played the system flawlessly to win the highest of honours at Anfield, must now lead the line on a permanent basis for the Blues.

In the end, after one spot kick too many – leaving Kepa Arrizabalaga with the task, which resulted in a lost ball likely on its way to Mars – it was not to be for Chelsea. In a day to forget for many, though, perhaps it’s worth noting the Wembley loss down in your calendar as the day Kai Havertz finally arrived in West London.

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