Thomas Tuchel believes that Chelsea playmaker Kai Havertz will have a ‘huge impact’ at Stamford Bridge despite his tough start to life in the Premier League. The 21-year-old became Chelsea’s record signing during the summer when he completed a £72million move from Bayer Leverkusen, but has failed to set the world alight in the months since his arrival.
Havertz has made just four goal contributions in 18 Premier League appearances this season, a stark contrast from his 12 goals and six assists in 30 Bundesliga matches last time out.
Chelsea’s hierarchy were keen to appoint a German successor to previous manager Frank Lampard in order to help Havertz and his compatriot Timo Werner find their feet in English football.
Since Tuchel’s arrival, Havertz has played 100 minutes in four matches, being left out of the squad altogether for the club’s last two Premier League outings as he recovers from a minor injury.
However, despite the versatile attacker’s muted campaign so far, Tuchel is confident that his quality will eventually shine through in west London.
“It takes time,” Tuchel told reporters on Friday. “There is no short answer, but what we can rely on is that all this potential is in him. It’s logical that it’s also in him to show it on the pitch.
“For every change of club, for every player, it is different. Sometimes it needs a little bit more time to adapt, sometimes it is quick.
“Sometimes it is between one match and another, sometimes it is a process. All we can do is push him, support him and give him what he needs, we figure out what he needs right now.
“He had a pretty good start with us, he had good matches and I have the feeling that I see a guy who’s totally clear, totally self-aware, very humble and incredibly talented. So there are no doubts that he will show this, the sooner the better.
“Now, unfortunately, he missed some training sessions, he missed some games for us. Hopefully he can come back to us in the next few days because I’m absolutely convinced he will have a big impact on this club.”
Havertz’s season has been his first playing outside of his native Germany, with the trials and tribulations of settling in a new country at just 21 years of age likely to be a factor in his on-pitch form this season.
However, the youngster has been taken under the wing of international team-mate Antonio Rudiger, who is also looking out for Werner.
The defender revealed earlier this week that he is happy to assist the pair in feeling more comfortable with life in England, but highlighted that he cannot do a great deal to ensure they perform well on the pitch.
“I think the goals will come, that applies to both of them,” Rudiger told Sky Sport Germany.
“This is their first experience abroad, they have only been in Germany so far, have only ever been in a safe environment, as I would call it.
“This is new territory for them and my job is to help them. I encourage them and I am just there for them.
“But at the end of the day they have to do their own work on the field.”
Havertz appears unlikely to return from injury in Chelsea’s next match against Newcastle United on Monday evening, but could be eyeing a place in the side for the trip to Southampton next Saturday.