Frank Lampard provides explanation for Kai Havertz’s recent Chelsea struggles


Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has this evening suggested that the lingering effects of a bout of Covid-19 have proven central to Kai Havertz’s dip in form of late.

Frank Lampard provides explanation for Kai Havertz’s recent Chelsea struggles

Blues stint

Gifted starlet Havertz of course came as one of a number of big-money arrivals at Stamford Bridge this past summer.

Just days after all of Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr put pen-to-paper on terms with Chelsea, the Blues thrashed out a deal with Bayer Leverkusen, to coax the German international to southwest London.

Havertz, to this point, though, has gone on to endure an altogether underwhelming opening to the campaign.

After initially struggling to come to terms with the step up in physicality posed by the Premier League, the 21-year-old began to find his feet as the weeks progressed, impressing versus the likes of Krasnodar and Barnsley, the latter of whom he managed a hat-trick against.

Just when the midfield talent appeared to be coming into his own, however, a bout of Covid-19 saw his progress halted.

In turn, with fellow summer additions Chilwell, Silva and Hakim Ziyech having largely impressed, questions – at times unfairly – have begun to be asked of Havertz.

Frank Lampard provides explanation for Kai Havertz’s recent Chelsea struggles

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 14: Kai Havertz of Chelsea runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea at American Express Community Stadium on September 14, 2020 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Glyn Kirk/Pool via Getty Images

‘Not a non-issue’

And, as outlined above, one individual who is very much of the opinion that the criticism of his side’s young German talent has been unjustified, is Frank Lampard.

Speaking during a press conference this evening ahead of Chelsea’s upcoming meeting with Manchester City, Lampard was drawn on Havertz’s struggles, with the 21-year-old having failed to earn a start in any of the Blues’ last three outings.

And the English tactician went on to launch an impassioned defence of his side’s record signing, providing an insight into the lasting effects of Havertz’s ‘severe’ battle with Covid-19:

‘Just as Kai was just coming to terms with the Premier League and he had some really good performances with us he got Covid and he had Covid quite severely as I think people are really starting to open up about now.’

‘I have read a few things recently about how much people can suffer with it now. Some people are asymptomatic. He definitely has had a bit of a fallout with that physically and I speak with him a lot and we know that. It is something we are trying to help him to deal with.’

Frank Lampard provides explanation for Kai Havertz’s recent Chelsea struggles

Chelsea’s German midfielder Kai Havertz (R) runs with the ball as Everton’s English midfielder Ben Godfrey (L) close in during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 12, 2020. (Photo by Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP)

‘Yeah, the expectation around him you have to put context into the story. Kai’s talent is undoubted. I see that every day. Giving him the time to adapt to the Premier League and to our team is crucial.’

‘We have seen players come here in the past, didn’t really adapt, went elsewhere and come back to the Premier League and absolutely lit it up to unbelievable levels. I am not trying to compare Kai directly with that but there are so many stories across the Premier League, not just Chelsea.’

‘I have full belief in him. We need to give him that time, particularly because of the Covid situation, that is a problem. That is not a non-issue; it is an issue that is related beyond his illness.’

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