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Sport Kai Havertz must take his chance to live up to 'best on earth' chant

23:52  22 october  2021
23:52  22 october  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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It has been a difficult start to life at Chelsea for Kai Havertz. However, the news of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner's injuries will finally give the German the chance to prove why he was worth such a hefty investment in September 2020.

The 22-year-old became the joint most expensive player ever signed by a British club after penning a five-year deal worth £89million last summer. His transfer from Bayer Leverkusen also saw him become the most expensive German player of all time.

As a result, Chelsea expected a lot of their new signing, given they smashed their own transfer record - dwarfing the £72m previously spent on goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga - to acquire his services.

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After a slow start, the German found his grove - scoring three times in his final five Premier League games of the season and then the all-important winner against Manchester City in the Champions League final in May.

However, he has failed to kick on from this term - having scored just one goal in seven Premier League appearances so far this term. Additionally, his key statistics have plummeted compared to last season.

His expected number of goals has dropped from five to one, his shot conversion rate has dropped from 12 to 10 and his created chances have dropped from 18 to one.

Therefore, Havertz must use the absence of injured duo Lukaku and Werner to 'prove a point' to not only the Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, but to the Chelsea fans who referred to him as 'the best on earth' after his Champions League heroics last term.

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Lukaku is said to be facing a month out of action because of the injury he sustained in Chelsea's Champions League win over Malmo on Wednesday night.

The Belgian striker twisted his ankle during the first half of the game, while his team-mate Timo Werner also picked up a hamstring injury to leave a cloud over the Blues' comprehensive 4-0 rout at Stamford Bridge.

As a result, Tuchel will look to Havertz to pick up the slack against Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley in the Premier League. He will also turn to the German for their League Cup tie with Southampton and their return fixture against Malmo.

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Tuchel believes it is a good opportunity for Havertz to 'prove a point' given he has only featured seven times and started four games so far this season.

'There's always a chance to prove a point and it's always necessary to prove it for our players, so I would say to them, prove a point now,' said Tuchel. 'Everybody is invited to join the race for minutes on the pitch.

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'And when they have minutes on the pitch they need to show the hunger on the pitch, to be decisive in the box. This is what we did against Malmo and we need exactly the same thing on Saturday against Norwich.

'We need goals to win matches and we want to find solutions without Romelu and Timo, that's clear.'

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Havertz - who was utilised as an early substitute during their 4-0 Group H win on Wednesday - claims 'you always have to be ready' to impress when you are called upon...and it's safe to say he did.

The German international proved he can be relied upon for big occasions as he scored the Blues' third goal just after half-time with a composed chip finish. Havertz also provided Antonio Rudiger with the pass that ultimately landed Chelsea’s their second penalty of the evening.

Now he will look to replicate such form in the Premier League when Chelsea face Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley.

The Blues' upcoming fixtures provide a good opportunity for Havertz to prove himself to both Tuchel and the Chelsea fan base.

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  Tuchel calls on Havertz and Hudson-Odoi to step up for Chelsea Hudson-Odoi laid on Havertz's goal as the duo linked up well in smart cameos against Malmo, leaving manager Tuchel to lay down the gauntlet for Saturday's Norwich clash and beyond.Lukaku hobbled out of Chelsea's 4-0 Champions League win over Malmo with an ankle problem, while Werner suffered a hamstring injury. Blues boss Tuchel confirmed both forwards will be sidelined in the coming weeks even though specific prognoses are yet to be determined.

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Chelsea are set to host Norwich City - who are at the bottom of the Premier League table - on Saturday. The Blues have not lost against the Canaries in their last ten matches and should therefore provide a good opportunity for Havertz to get on the scoresheet.

Chelsea will then face Southampton in the Carabao Cup at Stamford Bridge, before taking on 19th placed Newcastle. These games should help Havertz build up his confidence before taking on Juventus and Manchester United further down the line.

However, it is important that Havertz recognises the opportunity he has been presented with and takes it with both hands.

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He was previously recalled into the starting XI for Chelsea's fixture against Juventus in September, after being left out for their game against Manchester City.

However, pundits were left feeling disappointed with his performance after the game. Peter Crouch admitted that Havertz was 'technically gifted' but said he looked 'lazy and laboured' after the midfielder endured a frustrating night in Chelsea's 1-0 defeat.

Speaking after the game, Crouch said on BT Sport: 'I thought Ziyech and Havertz were very disappointing.

'I think Havertz reminds me of Ozil, he does things where it comes easy to him and he looks technically brilliant but he can also look lazy and laboured at times and he can frustrate you and I thought tonight they were frustrating.'

Lukaku and Werner will miss Chelsea's next two games AT LEAST

  Lukaku and Werner will miss Chelsea's next two games AT LEAST Thomas Tuchel has ruled Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner out of at least the next two games and refuses to accept an enforced break might be a blessing in disguise for the injured Chelsea strikers. 'It's never a good thing, I cannot see a positive thing from this,' said Tuchel as his Premier League leaders prepared to take on rock-bottom and winless Norwich. 'Both are out for Saturday and they will be out for the Southampton game and from there we will see.'I don't think it makes any sense that we go into speculation about how long it's going to be. The fact is you never know. Things can be shorter or longer than expected.

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Havertz has previously proved that he is capable of being one of Europe’s elite - having scored 17 goals in 34 league appearances as a 19-year-old.

His combined work-rate and natural talent saw him complete the most prolific campaign by a teenager in Bundesliga history and become one of the most sought after players in the transfer market.

He also went on to score eight goals and register two assists in 10 appearances for Bayern Leverkusen during his first season at the club. Havertz then finished the pandemic-imposed campaign with 12 goals and six assists in 30 appearances.

Therefore, he is more than capable of carrying a team when needed, but in order to do so he must play to his strengths.

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One of the defining characteristics of Havertz's game has always been his immaculately timed runs into the penalty area. 14 of his 17 goals in the 2018-19 season came from his dangerous runs from the midfielder into the box.

He also clocked a top speed of 35.02 km/h during a match against Bayern Munich before leaving for Chelsea. Therefore, he has shown he is capable of providing the pace the Blues need.

Havertz must take this chance to rediscover such form and live up to the expectations placed on him by both Tuchel and the Chelsea fan base.

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