Kai Havertz insists ‘there are NO excuses’ for his difficulties acclimatising to life in the Premier League… but Chelsea’s £71m summer signing hopes ‘there will be a big turnaround soon’ as he looks to play decisive role in top four race
- Kai Havertz joined Chelsea last summer from Bayer Leverkusen for £71million
- There were great expectations placed on the German but he has struggled
- Thomas Tuchel is ‘confident’ in Havertz as Chelsea prepare for a top four battle
- Havertz, 21, insists he has no-one else to blame and admits there are ‘no excuses’
Kai Havertz admits there are ‘no excuses’ for his difficult start to life in England but the 21-year-old is hopeful he can complete a ‘big turnaround’ to play a key role in Chelsea’s run-in.
Havertz arrived as Chelsea’s record signing last summer, joining from Bayer Leverkusen in a deal worth an initial £71million.
He immediately found the Premier League a tougher nut to crack than the Bundesliga and as such he dropped out of the side under Frank Lampard.
Kai Havertz has opened up on his tricky acclimatisation to English football this season
The young German (left) was handed a clean slate at Chelsea when Thomas Tuchel arrived
Injuries and a battle with Covid-19 further complicated his adaptation to English football but, ahead of facing Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, he is convinced under new boss Thomas Tuchel he can turn a corner.
‘The coronavirus is now over [for me] and I feel good,’ Havertz told Chelsea’s website.
‘I had a little injury in the past few weeks but it’s now time to play good.
‘I have to improve my game. It has not been easy for me but there are no excuses. I just have to keep on working and hopefully there will be a big turnaround soon. I will give it my best.’
Tuchel’s arrival has provided Havertz with a clean slate in west London and his start at Leeds made it back-to-back Chelsea starts for the first time since December.
Havertz started at Leeds, making it back-to-back starts for the first time since December
He started in a No 9 role away at Elland Road having impressed there against Everton and despite his one league goal this season, Tuchel is full of belief in the young German to lead the line.
‘It was pretty much the same role that he (Havertz) had against Everton,’ said Tuchel.
‘I think that Kai feels very comfortable in high positions. I feel he is very comfortable to go to drop in to half-spaces from the high position, to turn and drive with the ball and use his speed.
‘But he also arrives very naturally in the box and the six-yard box, to finish our attacks.’
Tuchel added: ‘He’s comfortable in finishing, he’s strong in finishing. He can clearly play as a No 9, he can play as a half-striker or as a winger.
He has offered ‘no excuses’ for his struggles but believes a ‘turnaround’ is on the horizon
‘These are his positions and today we used him as a number nine and I’m happy.
‘Unfortunately he could not finish like his finishes in training and like his talents allow him to finish because we had enough chances. It’s a position where he feels comfortable and I trust him in this position.’
Havertz will look to play a decisive role in the run-in for Chelsea, starting with Wednesday night’s last-16 second-leg against Atletico Madrid.
Tuchel’s side lead 1-0 in the tie following Olivier Giroud’s goal.
In the league, Chelsea sit fourth, three points ahead of West Ham, who have played one game fewer.
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