Chelsea: Kai Havertz faces make-or-break moment as goals dry up and Aubameyang arrival looms
In his Chelsea career, Kai Havertz is at a crucial stage.
Despite scoring the winning goals in the 2021 Champions League and 2022 Club World Cup finals, the 23-year-old is still a popular favorite at Stamford Bridge, but his statistics are very unsettling.
The German attacker is already under scrutiny because he has failed to score or provide an assist in his four games this year.
Chelsea is attempting to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona to bolster their fighting capabilities, while Armando Borja, who enjoyed a productive loan at tonight’s opponents last season, is awaiting action.
Havertz has scored 23 goals since joining Chelsea for £75.8 million in 2020, which is exactly the same number as the recently sold to RB Leipzig and frequently mocked Timo Werner.
Chelsea needs more from Havertz, the club’s third-highest earner since Raheem Sterling is the only forward to have scored and provided an assist so far this year.
Havertz is not being held back by a lack of effort or ability.
No player in the Premier League had made more off-the-ball runs than Havertz prior to Saturday’s tenacious 2-1 victory over Leicester. Havertz has also traveled farther than any other Chelsea player over the course of the last two contests.
Despite starting as the central striker in both games, he failed to register a single shot. In actuality, Kalidou Koulibaly, a new defender, has taken more shots than him this year.
His emphasis on pushing and clearing space is reducing his chances of scoring, which is the No. 9’s main responsibility.
After being transformed from a midfielder to a striker by Blues manager Thomas Tuchel, Havertz acknowledges that he might not possess the same desire to score goals.
Prior to tonight’s game against Southampton, Havertz told Standard Sport that he might exploit his talent to rush in behind as a striker.
“Sometimes, getting the pass and remaining composed in front of goal depends on moments, and I can count on my teammates to throw the ball to me. We keep up the good work, and I’ll do my best to score.
“I am a team player, and this is a team sport. I am happier that we ultimately won than I am that I didn’t score when I got home. But I do need to examine myself, and perhaps I should demonstrate my desire a little more. I’ll keep working hard, and I have faith that it will materialize.
Tuchel must decide if he can get Havertz hungry for goal-scoring. If not, it will be decided whether his off-the-ball movement is more valuable than the goals Chelsea is now lacking.