Havertz may have just ended Lukaku's Chelsea career

Stefan Bienkowski
Stefan Bienkowski 14 Mar 2022 13:34 CET 4 min read
Chelsea striker Kai Havertz

When Chelsea desperately needed him, Kai Havertz seemingly appeared out of thin air and scored a winning goal against Newcastle on Sunday.

After his side had huffed and puffed for much of the Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge, Thomas Tuchel was able to once again rely upon his compatriot to step up and stick the ball in the back of the net with some remarkable technique and finesse.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, Jorginho fired a speculative through ball deep into the Newcastle box, where it arched over a desperate Dan Burn and found Havertz tucked under the outstretched defender.

Like Dennis Bergkamp in his peak, Havertz then brought the ball down with a single flick of his foot and tapped it home with his left foot in less than a second. Chelsea had won the game and the club had a new talisman.

Havertz’s new role for Chelsea

Sunday’s performance was the third match in a row in which Havertz has stuck the ball in the back of the net, with the Germany international now sitting on no less than five goals in his last five games for Tuchel’s side.

Indeed, much has changed at the Stamford Bridge side since Tuchel took over early last year, but one of the most notable differences is the manner in which the tactician has moulded Havertz into a modern day No.9, despite arriving at the club as an attacking midfielder.

Not only is Havertz now joint top of Chelsea’s goal-scoring charts for the season with 11 in all games, but he’s also scored more goals for the club than any other player since Tuchel became manager.

When we add five assists to his goal tally, it means Havertz is now averaging 0.61 goals and assists per 90 for Chelsea this season. Which is notably more impressive than Romelu Lukaku’s 0.54 per 90.

Does this spell the end for Lukaku?

Havertz’s new role at Chelsea certainly makes things a little more uncomfortable for Lukaku, who has continued to struggle under the weight of his £102 million move to the club in the summer.

Unlike Timo Werner, who has also struggled for goals but can perform a number of roles in Tuchel’s side, Lukaku is unquestionably a No.9 and if he isn’t fulfilling his role as the club’s main source of goals, serious questions will be asked of his future at the club.

Should Havertz continue to score goals and nail down the sole striker role in Tuchel’s team between now and the end of the season, it doesn’t leave much room in the starting XI for Lukaku going forward.