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What do you Kai Havertz problem that could become a blessing in disguise for Chelsea

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What do you think about Kai Havertz problem that could become a blessing in disguise for ChelseaIt was not until the 53rd minute that the 2,000 Chelsea fans inside Stamford Bridge for the first time since March got a glimpse of what Kai Havertz’s game is really about.

The German, up until that point a subdued presence in the hosts’ midfield against a Leeds team that started like a train before running out of steam, ran threateningly forward before winning a corner.

It produced a roar of encouragement from those lucky enough to get a ticket.

Frank Lampard on Olivier Giroud, Spygate and facing Leeds

FRANK LAMPARD ON OLIVIER GIROUD, SPYGATE AND FACING LEEDS

Two minutes later he should have put Frank Lampard’s team in front when sending a glancing header narrowly wide. Another collective shout followed.

Those were mere glimpses of the £72million summer signing’s talent and he departed soon after for Mateo Kovacic, who on current form may be a better option in the short-term.

Simply, producing those moments consistently remains elusive for Havertz but it is important to step back and look at the wider picture.

While several of the summer signings – most notably Ben Chilwell and Edouard Mendy – have settled in with ease, there is just a little more patience required when it comes to the most expensive acquisition of an eye-watering transfer window.

There are a number of extenuating circumstances – not least how difficult it must be for a young man to move away from home and settle into a new culture and style of play with a huge price tag weighing heavily on his shoulders – and the rush from critics to make grand claims about his future in English football sits uneasily 11 league games in irrespective of their being clear room for improvement.

Perhaps it is his languid nature, the feeling of effortlessness when in possession, that sees Havertz portrayed as a little too casual for the rough and tumble of the Premier League.

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He may not share the off-ball energy of N’Golo Kante or pressing intensity of Mason Mount but there can be no disputing his technical quality. It is merely about translating it into tangible rewards game after game; something many 21-year-old players have struggled with in the past and will continue to long after Havertz’s career is over.

There is also clear evidence that he improves as seasons progress, especially last season when he reached Christmas being booed by Bayer Leverkusen supporters for a perceived lack of effort.

From January until the end of that delayed campaign he rose to new heights despite the team’s eventual failure to reach the Champions League, a factor that paved the way for his move to West London.

Chelsea 3-1 Leeds United: Frank Lampard press conference
Chelsea FC boss Frank Lampard holds a post match press conference following Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Leeds United.

FRANK LAMPARD ON ZIYECH INJURY, BEING PLEASED WITH PULISIC AND KANTE

It was not until the 53rd minute that the 2,000 Chelsea fans inside Stamford Bridge for the first time since March got a glimpse of what Kai Havertz’s game is really about.

The German, up until that point a subdued presence in the hosts’ midfield against a Leeds team that started like a train before running out of steam, ran threateningly forward before winning a corner.

It produced a roar of encouragement from those lucky enough to get a ticket.

Frank Lampard on Olivier Giroud, Spygate and facing Leeds

FRANK LAMPARD ON OLIVIER GIROUD, SPYGATE AND FACING LEEDS

Two minutes later he should have put Frank Lampard’s team in front when sending a glancing header narrowly wide. Another collective shout followed.

Those were mere glimpses of the £72million summer signing’s talent and he departed soon after for Mateo Kovacic, who on current form may be a better option in the short-term.

Simply, producing those moments consistently remains elusive for Havertz but it is important to step back and look at the wider picture.

There are a number of extenuating circumstances – not least how difficult it must be for a young man to move away from home and settle into a new culture and style of play with a huge price tag weighing heavily on his shoulders – and the rush from critics to make grand claims about his future in English football sits uneasily 11 league games in irrespective of their being clear room for improvement.

Perhaps it is his languid nature, the feeling of effortlessness when in possession, that sees Havertz portrayed as a little too casual for the rough and tumble of the Premier League.

He may not share the off-ball energy of N’Golo Kante or pressing intensity of Mason Mount but there can be no disputing his technical quality. It is merely about translating it into tangible rewards game after game; something many 21-year-old players have struggled with in the past and will continue to long after Havertz’s career is over.

There is also clear evidence that he improves as seasons progress, especially last season when he reached Christmas being booed by Bayer Leverkusen supporters for a perceived lack of effort.

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From January until the end of that delayed campaign he rose to new heights despite the team’s eventual failure to reach the Champions League, a factor that paved the way for his move to West London.

It happened the year before, too, as the informative Expected Chelsea Twitter account pointed out a couple of days back.

A slow start and fast finish will be no bad thing in 2020/21, a season in which pacing yourself is more important than ever before and what looks like a minor problem now could easily become a blessing when winter becomes spring.

Havertz has also been set back by coronavirus. While not severely ill, he was symptomatic for several days and will need another couple of games to rediscover the sharpness he was displaying before contacting the virus.

Lampard has stressed the need for patience at regular intervals in the past couple of months while extolling his qualities on the training pitch.

The challenge is in translating those talents to matchday with greater consistency but only the shortsighted and foolish are writing him off already. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

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