Chelsea fans and most football fans have been unimpressed and disappointed, to say the least, by the performances of Kai Havertz since his big money move from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea in the summer.
The chants of “Announce Havertz” to “Alleskönner” to “generational talent” have all been binned for an infamous one: Drop Havertz.
They were understandably expecting to see exquisite foot works; the ability to run into spaces, create a solid link between midfield and attack as well as scoring goals, but those expectations have not been met.
With the exception of a hat-trick against Barnsley in the League cup and a few glimpses of his quality, Havertz’s arrival has not brought too many smiles on the faces of most Chelsea fans.
His first few performances have been a source of concern for Blues fans, but the thought of him joining the Torres and Kepa band, on a long term, is even more daunting.
Havertz’s new band
Chelsea fans need not to look far away to remember how badly most of their big name and big money signings have performed upon their arrival at Stamford Bridge.
Kai Havertz’s immediate predecessor very much epitomizes this haunting fact for the club. Coveted by big clubs in the world including Real Madrid, Kepa ended up at Chelsea in a £71.6m move that made him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world.
His arrival at Chelsea came a season after his move to Real Madrid had fallen through and with his string of poor performances for Chelsea, the Madridistas might be glad their club didn’t sign him.
But even before Kepa, there were the likes of Fernando Torres and Andriy Shevchenko who failed to impress at Stamford, and Havertz seems to have joined that band already.
His performances have been uninspiring and has been accused by most pundits of being too soft for the Premier League with, SkySports pundit, Paul Merson likening him to Mesut Ozil.
Kai Havertz looks like Mesut Ozil at the moment, Merson told The Mirror. A major talent, but when he loses the ball, he doesn’t try to win it back.
Ozil used to get major stick because he didn’t always seem interested. But Havertz looks like that sometimes now as well.
Havertz currently has one of the lowest ratings of all Chelsea players this season, according WhoScored.com. His 6.56 rating is only better than that of Billy Gilmour (6.31), Olivier Giroud (6.42) who have not played too many games for the club this season.
But while things are clearly not going Havertz’s way, there is the possibility of him switching bands while at Chelsea.
Havertz could join a more positive band
Kai Havertz is certainly not the first notable and recognized player to struggle in his first few games for a Premier League club.
David de Gea quickly comes to mind as one of such players,. The Spaniard struggled in his first season for the club before going on to establish his presence as one of United’s most important players in subsequent seasons.
Luiz Suarez’s glittering career at Liverpool also did not begin on a positive note, while the Thierry Henry and Arsenal love story developed only after the French man had adjusted to the English culture and football.
And it is exactly what Chelsea fans would be hoping for in the coming weeks and months. At least for Frank Lampard, he believes that the player is capable of joining the positive band once he settles in.
“The reaction around Kai, when you look and you analyse what’s happening here, he had no pre-season, started to really play well and then got Covid and all eyes are on because of the price tag but we need huge perspective here.
Where would he end up?
Havertz’s quality as a player is certainly not in doubt, and while he is being bashed for his poor performances, he could turn the corner and justify why he was termed as a generational talent by most pundits before switching camps.
Maybe, just maybe, Havertz will turn the corner and become a key player for Frank Lampard’s side.