EPL

Lampard: Havertz needs time to show his 'undoubted talent'

By Sports Desk January 02, 2021

Frank Lampard says some context is needed over Kai Havertz's early struggles at Chelsea as he backed the attacking midfielder to show his "undoubted talent" once he fully settles.

The Germany international has struggled to transfer the form he showed at Bayer Leverkusen since joining Chelsea in a reported £72million (€80m) deal in September.

Havertz has just one goal and one assist in 14 Premier League appearances and has been named among the substitutes for the Blues' last three outings.

However, Lampard insists the 21-year-old is still finding his feet after moving to a new country, a period of adaption not helped after being laid low by coronavirus earlier in the season.

"Just as Kai was just coming to terms with the Premier League and he had some really good performances with us he got COVID and he had it quite severely as I think people are really starting to open up about now," Lampard said.

"I have read a few things recently about how much people can suffer with it now. Some people are asymptomatic.

"He definitely has had a bit of a fallout with that physically and I speak with him a lot and we know that. It is something we are trying to help him to deal with.

"The expectation around him, you have to put context into the story. Kai's talent is undoubted. I see that every day. Giving him the time to adapt to the Premier League and to our team is crucial.

"We have seen players come here in the past, didn't really adapt, went elsewhere and come back to the Premier League and absolutely lit it up to unbelievable levels.

"I am not trying to compare Kai directly with that but there are so many stories across the Premier League, not just Chelsea.

"I have full belief in him. We need to give him that time, particularly because of the COVID situation, that is a problem. That is not a non-issue - it is an issue that is related beyond his illness."

Havertz has created 10 chances in his 14 top-flight appearances this term at a rate of 1.1 every 90 minutes, placing him behind fellow attackers Mason Mount (2.4), Callum Hudson-Odoi (2.7) and Hakim Ziyech (2.8).

He averages just 0.9 shots per 90 minutes, meanwhile, which is 14th on the list of Chelsea players, behind even holding midfielder Jorginho (1.1) and full-back Reece James (1.3).

That is in stark contrast to his impressive figures in the Bundesliga when scoring a record-breaking 17 goals - the most in a single season for a teenager - in 2018-19 and following that up with 12 more last term, on top of six assists.

And Lampard is aware of the demands that come with making a high-profile move, having taken time to get going at Chelsea following an £11m switch from rivals West Ham in the early part of his playing career.

"Transferring leagues to a game that is fast and physical week in, week out, every three days is a big ask and not something that should be expected just because we paid this amount for you or you are an international or your age or how many goals and assists you made," he said.

"You can't take anything as a given in that sense. I thought that with Kai anyway and I was there to help him, I am there to help him when he came. I was excited to take on that challenge with him of how this league is going to be different.

"Let's see how you can adapt because your talents are going to be different in a really positive way and help us. The one thing I certainly know as a coach is that I can rely on is my personal experience when it mirrors up slightly.

"I know I had to do extra work myself. Kai is different to me. Particularly with the knockback of COVID. Now we have to give him time to do the extra work now and it will make him stronger in the end. And remember, he is a young player and he needs time."

Related items

  • Football rumours: Brentford monitoring Norwich striker Josh Sargent Football rumours: Brentford monitoring Norwich striker Josh Sargent
    What the papers say

    Brentford are reportedly keeping tabs on Norwich’s in-form American striker Josh Sargent. The Sun says the Bees view the 24-year-old, who has scored 11 goals in 17 matches this season, as an ideal replacement for Ivan Toney, who is expected to be sold in the summer.

    Miguel Gutierrez is on the radar of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, according to The Sun. Citing a report from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, the paper says the 22-year-old defender is a high priority transfer target for the United boss, though Gutierrez’s former club are thought to Real Madrid retain 50 per cent of his rights and a buy-back clause and could prove a substantial roadblock for the Red Devils.

    And the Daily Mirror reports Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all had scouts in attendance to watch Sporting Lisbon striker Viktor Gyokeres net his 31st goal of the season against Benfica last week.

    Social media round-upPlayers to watch

    Andy Robertson: Football Insider says Liverpool are set to open contract talks with the defender, who has been linked with Bayern Munich in recent days.

    Francesco Camarda: Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia, reports Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are monitoring the 15-year-old AC Milan forward.

  • On this day in 2012: Andre Villas-Boas sacked by Chelsea On this day in 2012: Andre Villas-Boas sacked by Chelsea

    On this day in 2012, Andre Villas-Boas left Chelsea as former midfielder Roberto Di Matteo was appointed interim manager until the end of the season.

    Villas-Boas, 34, lost the job he had held for just eight months less than 24 hours after a 1-0 defeat at West Brom which left the Blues sitting in fifth place in the Premier League table and having won just five of their previous 15 games in all competitions.

    The Portuguese had been recruited at great expense – around £13.3million – as Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement by then Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in June 2011 and handed the task of overhauling an ageing squad after winning a remarkable quadruple with Porto.

    However, he quickly found himself under pressure and reports of dressing room unrest coupled with faltering form prompted the club to act ahead of an FA Cup trip to Birmingham and an impending Champions League showdown with Napoli.

    In a statement, they said: “Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season.

    “The club is still competing in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, as well as challenging for a top-four spot in the Premier League, and we aim to remain as competitive as possible on all fronts.

    “With that in mind, we felt our only option was to make a change at this time.”

    Assistant Di Matteo was placed in temporary charge and made rather a good fist of it, at least initially.

    The Italian guided Chelsea to FA Cup final victory over Liverpool and then famously at the Allianz Arena, a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final as Didier Drogba, whose late header had taken the game to extra time, converted the decisive spot-kick to complete Abramovich’s quest for European glory.

    Di Matteo’s reward was a permanent two-year contract, although his reign too proved short-lived when he was sacked after just five months at the helm.

  • Frenkie de Jong and Pedri both injured as Barcelona draw with Athletic Bilbao Frenkie de Jong and Pedri both injured as Barcelona draw with Athletic Bilbao

    Barcelona remain third in LaLiga after being held to a 0-0 draw by Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.

    A frustrating evening for Barca included midfielders Frenkie de Jong and Pedri coming off with injuries in the first half.

    Xavi’s men are eight points behind leaders Real Madrid, who had drawn 2-2 at Valencia on Saturday.

    And they are a point behind second-placed Girona, whose 1-0 loss at Mallorca earlier on Sunday, via a first-half Jose Manuel Copete goal, had offered Barca the chance to climb the table.

    Fourth-placed Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 2-1 at home with a Rui Silva own goal and Alvaro Morata effort putting the hosts in charge before William Carvalho’s reply, and Alexander Sorloth netted a hat-trick as Villarreal thrashed second-bottom Granada 5-1 at El Madrigal.

    In Serie A, second-placed Juventus suffered a third defeat in five games as they lost 2-1 at Napoli.

    Giacomo Raspadori scored a late winner on the follow-up when Victor Osimhen’s penalty was saved by Wojciech Szczesny, after Federico Chiesa had cancelled out Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s opener.

    It leaves Juve 12 points adrift of Inter Milan, who host Genoa on Monday.

    Fourth-placed Bologna strengthened their Champions League bid by coming from behind to triumph 2-1 at Atalanta, with Scotland’s Lewis Ferguson netting the winner.

    Cagliari moved up a place to 18th with a 1-0 win at Empoli. They are level on points with 17th-placed Hellas Verona, who beat Sassuolo 1-0 at home.

    Sunday’s other top-flight game in Italy saw Frosinone and Lecce draw 1-1.

    Bayer Leverkusen went 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win at 10-man Cologne.

    After the hosts had Jan Thielmann sent off early on, Jeremie Frimpong and Alejandro Grimaldo scored in each half for Xabi Alonso’s men as they took full advantage of second-placed Bayern Munich being held at Freiburg on Friday.

    Maximilian Beier’s first-half brace secured a 2-1 win for Hoffenheim at home against Werder Bremen, the hosts holding out for three points after having Marius Bulter sent off in the 73rd minute and conceding a stoppage-time Skelly Alvero goal.

    In Ligue 1, Brest are nine points behind Paris St Germain in second after Pierre Lees-Melou’s first-half effort secured a 1-0 home win over Le Havre, extending their unbeaten run to 13 games.

    Toulouse came from behind to win 2-1 at home against fifth-placed Nice, and Lens are up to sixth following a 3-0 win at Lyon.

    Lorient moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at Rennes, Montpellier dropped in having drawn 2-2 at home with Strasbourg and second-bottom Metz won 2-0 at Nantes.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.