Football pundits called him a mix between Michael Ballack and Mesut Ozil. For a 21 year old, this was really flattering praise as both Ballack and Ozil are among the best midfield players the world has ever seen. Kai Havertz was exceptional for Bayer Leverkusen, scoring and assisting goals aplenty, especially after the Covid-19 enforced lockdown that stopped football activities all around Europe. The odds of him not getting a goal or assist in his next game must be very high on

He was well courted by Europe’s elite clubs, but Chelsea ultimately won the race for his signature, as the player himself stated that the West London outfit showed the most interest in him, and clearly outlined their project to him, which seemed the best for his development. He was signed for nearly £70m, short of the club record fee of £72m the club paid Athletic Bilbao for Kepa Arrizabalaga. He has shown his brilliance in flashes, most especially in the early rounds of the League Cup, where he scored a hat trick against Barnsley. While his performance in the game was near flawless, Chelsea bought him to really show his class on the biggest of stages, and he has not shown his quality when it has mattered most.

Havertz was expected to kick on after the Barnsley game, but he hasn’t, which must be very worrying and frustrating for Frank Lampard. Here is clearly a player talented enough to be labeled a generational talent, but he has shown that talent in spurts. In the last game against Everton, he was hooked off after an hour, after failing to impose himself on the game and misplacing too many passes with so many sloppy passes. There is a school of thought that he isn’t being used in his preferred no 10 position behind the striker, another school of thought believes Lampard sets up his team in a fluid attacking setup that means he should be able to show his quality wherever he finds himself in the final third.

For a player who was so effective in Germany, his statistics at Chelsea are a bit damning; he has registered 4 goals and 3 assists in 17 matches for the Blues, though he came back to full fitness just two weeks ago following a spell out due to Covid 19 complications. For a team that spent so much money, there is so much pressure on Lampard to guide his team to silverware this term, and it is of note that the Blues legend needs players he can point to on the field as difference makers. Kai Havertz really needs to step up. It will be good to keep the naysayers shut.