Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has defended Timo Werner and Kai Havertz despite their indifferent form since big-money moves this summer – but told German duo to become “huge players” for the club.
Forward Werner joined after Chelsea triggered his RB Leipzig release clause of £47.5million, while attacking midfielder Havertz signed from Bayer Leverkusen in a deal potentially worth up to £71million.
Although Werner has scored eight goals in all competitions, but he has missed a host of presentable chances, while Kai Havertz has struggled to play regularly.
But speaking ahead of Chelsea’s final Uefa Champions League Group G match against Krasnodar, Lampard defended the pair.
He said: ‘I’ve got no worries about Timo. He’s come into this league, he’s made a big impact straight away.
‘His speed, his direct nature, things he’s creating for the team, the fact he’s getting lots of chances, he makes lots of chances through his explosive nature and his eye to be in the right areas.
The Blues icon Lampard also praised 21-year-old Havertz’ technical and mental attributes, putting his absences down to recovering from coronavirus.
He added: ‘He had really strong symptoms of Covid, he was very ill and struggling for quite a while. That’s why it took two or so weeks before he was starting again once he returned from Covid.
‘Going into when he fell ill, his form was fantastic and he was playing some really good stuff. He was playing in the No. 8 role, the advanced midfield role, and I was delighted for him because you could see he was enjoying it and then obviously Covid cut that short.
‘Long-term, I’ve got absolutely no worries about Kai – in fact it’s the opposite. I know he’s going to be a huge player for this club, in the Premier League. He has all the attributes, all the personality, all the attitude and he’s going to be an absolutely top-class player for me, in the Premier League and in the world.’
The Blues play Russian side FC Krasnodar on Tuesday evening having already qualified for the knockout stages, all but mathematically assured of top spot.