Tuchel: We don’t expect Havertz to be a Chelsea leader

Paul Macdonald
Tuchel: We don’t expect Havertz to be a Chelsea leader

Chelsea are not expecting Kai Havertz to become their emotional leader, says Thomas Tuchel.

But Tuchel insists Chelsea do expect the £71 million signing to prove he deserves to play in their prominent attacking positions.

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Havertz scored one and set up another in a fine display as Chelsea won 4-1 at Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

Tuchel felt it was a step in the right direction for the former Bayer Leverkusen star.

He gave Havertz another opportunity despite criticising his performance, as well as that of Timo Werner, in the 2-0 Champions League quarter-final first leg win over Porto.

But the Chelsea boss still feels Havertz has other improvements to make.

Tuchel feels now is the perfect time to make them with Champions League and FA Cup glory up for grabs, as well as their pursuit of a top-four finish.

“He has the quality and he needs to show it – it is that easy,” Tuchel said about Havertz.

“Kai will never be our emotional leader and we don’t expect him to be.

“But we expect him to show his quality and to show that he needs to be in a high position.

“He can play in a half position or as a number nine, there is not a great difference for me.”

Tuchel: Havertz got a second chance

Tuchel: We don’t expect Havertz to be a Chelsea leader

Tuchel: We don’t expect Havertz to be a Chelsea leader

Tuchel believes finishing is an area where Havertz can make further progress in for Chelsea.

Havertz started in a central attacking role with Werner, Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham all on the bench against Palace.

Tuchel added: “Honestly, he needed to show he could do better, that was the challenge for him.

“He got a second chance to show up after Porto and it’s the moment now in the season, with decisive matches coming, that you fight for your place.

“He got a chance to show he can do better and he did this.

“There is still room to improve with his finishing, he needs to be more ruthless and score more.

“I am not disappointed but he could have actually scored more.

“But it was a good step and a good performance.”

‘I have to prove it for Chelsea’

Kai Havertz was signed when Frank Lampard was manager

Kai Havertz was signed when Frank Lampard was manager

Havertz has two goals and three assists from 23 Premier League appearances (15 starts) for Chelsea.

So he knows there is plenty still to prove, starting with the second leg against Porto as Chelsea close in on the last four.

“In my position, you always want to score,” he said, per the club’s website.

“In the last few months it was not easy, I did not have so many chances.

“I had some chances in this game.

“I could have scored one or two goals more but we are happy with the result.”

Asked about playing as a false nine for Chelsea, Havertz replied: “I like it, I think it is a good position for me.

“I have the freedom to go everywhere I want to go.

“As a striker it is always easy to play with players of those qualities.

“After one game when you win 4-1 it is easy to say we are a good attacking team.

“But we have to prove that on Tuesday again and on Saturday again and after the season we can speak about it.

“After such a game it is easy to say that I am at my best.

“I think I have to prove it in more games than only one but I will give my best, I will try to improve and I hope that I will continue like that.”

After facing Porto, Chelsea will take on Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final next week.