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Havertz repays Tuchel’s faith in ‘second chance’, looks to keep improving

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Right step in the right direction

Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Kai Havertz played rather badly midweek against Porto, but unlike his cohort in crapness, Timo Werner, he did not get dropped for yesterday’s visit to Selhurst Park. Thomas Tuchel called it a “second chance” and he didn’t have to wait too long to see his faith repaid, with Havertz opening the scoring inside the first ten minutes to set Chelsea on our way to a comprehensive 4-1 domination.

Tuchel was rightly pleased with those outcomes.

“Honestly, he needed to show he could do better, that was the challenge for him. He got a second chance to show up after Porto and it’s the moment now in the season, with decisive matches coming, that you fight for your place.

“He got a chance to show he can do better and he did this. There is still room to improve with his finishing, he needs to be more ruthless and score more. But it was a good step and a good performance.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London

The goal Havertz scored was one of his tougher chances, and he’d go on to miss a fair few quality chances. Still, on a night when Chelsea played very well, Havertz was brimming with confidence — chapeaus for everyone! — and a constant menace to Gary Cahill & Co in the Palace backline, especially in the first half.

The 21-year-old was the first to admit that there’s room for improvement in his play still, and this is far from his best version — which is good since we all expect more from our record non-goalkeeper signing.

“In my position, you always want to score. In the last few months it was not easy, I did not have so many chances. In this game I had some the chances. I could have scored one or two goals more but we are happy with the result”

‘After such a game it is easy to say that I am at my best. I think I have to prove it in more games than only one but I will give my best, I will try to improve and I hope that I will continue like that.”

-Kai Haverz; source: Chelsea FC

Havertz has been deployed at multiple positions this season, from central mifield, to either wing, to now a de facto center forward. This latter one appears to suit him best, at least in Tuchel’s system (in Lampard’s it was the dual-No8s alongside Mount that seemed to carry the most promise, though we didn’t see it too often).

“He has the quality and he needs to show it. It’s that easy. Kai will never be our emotional leader and we don’t expect him to be. But we expect him to show his quality and to show that he needs to be in a high position. He can play in a half position or as a number nine, there is not a great difference for me.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London

If we can keep Havertz fit and firing into the final weeks of the season, he just might end up making a great difference in our question for trophies and the top four.