Former team-mate predicts upturn for out-of-form Chelsea star

Toby Bowles
Kai Havertz Chelsea

Kai Havertz’s former Bayer Leverkusen team-mate Jonathan Tah has labelled criticism of the Chelsea playmaker ‘nonsense’, backing his ‘enormous qualities’ to eventually come to the fore.

Havertz has managed just five goals and five assists so far for Chelsea this season, with just one of those strikes coming in the Premier League.

An eye-watering fee of £90million was paid for his signature in the summer, but with the 21-year-old slow to acclimatise to his surroundings, criticism has mounted.

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Manager Frank Lampard was axed after a turgid run of form for Chelsea in which Havertz struggled to make his mark, while the midfielder has started only once under new boss Thomas Tuchel, sitting out the last two games through injury.

Tah, however, is convinced Havertz will come good. He told Sport 1: “I’ve been watching the Chelsea games regularly since then (the move).”

“It’s super interesting because Timo Werner and Antonio Rudiger also play there. I know what qualities Kai has.

“The game there is different than in Germany. There is a lot of talk in such phases: He has to do this and that because he has cost so and so much.

“But that’s nonsense. Give the boy time; then he will show his enormous qualities at Chelsea too. Kai will convince all the critics over there.”

Havertz, according to reports, was missing from training this week, and is ruled out for Thursday’s FA Cup tie with Barnsley.