As all Chelsea players have improved under Thomas Tuchel, finding consistent goals has been a struggle for a new Blues manager.
Mason Mount is the club’s top scorer
It’s been 10 games since Lampard was replaced by Tuchel. Olivier Giroud was the only other player to have stepped out under the German more than once when not factoring in sets. Not as if Tuchel lacked options, with Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham, Hakim Zieh and Kai Havertz everything is available to him in the attacking areas.
Against Everton on Monday, it was Havertz’s turn to gamble his grievances, with German player putting the International on a display that suggested he might well be the missing piece for the Chelsea forward line. For the first time since Tuchel’s debut in a game against Wolves, Havertz was deployed in a central role between wide strikers Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi, playing as a “false nine.”
This is a position he has thrived in recent weeks at Bayer Leverkusen, scoring eight goals in 11 games for Peter Bosch’s side on the run, who convinced Chelsea to dump £70m ($97m) on the 21-year-old over the summer. And it has long been clear that Tuchel sees his best role in this.
Tuchel thinks that Haverz is special
“He’s a unique player,” Tuchel said last week as injury held back Havertz’s chances to start. “It’s not clear where he needs to settle, whether he needs to settle in one special position? Or is he some kind of hybrid player. Today I would say that he is between nine and 10, something in between.”
Tuchel held on to his cannons here, and Havertz repaid him with a winning performance match that secured everything but the actual goal for the Blues attack.
This is a role that requires defensive discipline as well as offensive awareness, but Havertz is much more comfortable acting only in the final third, and in the central areas, rather than widespread. “He is very comfortable in the box. He is very comfortable in high positions. He is very good at offensive headlines, has a good time to arrive in the box, a good finish and good composure in the box,” Tuchel said.