A former Stamford Bridge player and coach has urged the struggling Germany international to get himself into the box more often
Kai Havertz “just wants to be a nice player”, according to Glenn Hoddle, who says the Chelsea midfielder “has to be a little more assertive”.
Havertz has struggled for form since completing a £70 million ($92m) move to Stamford Bridge from Bayer Leverkusen in September.
The 21-year-old built up a reputation as one of the best young playmakers in Europe during his time at Bay Arena, but has been unable to reach the same heights during his first few months at Chelsea.
A modest tally of four goals through 17 appearances has done little to convince supporters he was worth such a huge investment in the summer transfer market, with his latest sub-par display coming during a 2-1 defeat at Wolves last week.
Calls for Frank Lampard to drop Havertz have been widespread heading into a congested festive period, but he is line to retain his place in the Blues’ starting line up when West Ham arrive at the Bridge for a crucial London derby clash on Monday night.
Although Hoddle still belives the ex-Leverkusen star will go on to fulfil his potential in west London, he wants to see the Germany international start driving forward on a more consistent basis instead of sitting back and letting games pass him by.
“At the moment Havertz is not showing anywhere near the player he was showing in Germany. He is playing a bit deeper at Chelsea and I think if he starts arriving in the penalty area a bit more then we will start to see the best of him,” The ex-Chelsea player and head coach told the Evening Standard.
“He is a good player and there is more to come, but he looks like a character who needs a bit of time to settle.
“It is almost as if he just wants to be a nice player. For me, he has to be a little bit more assertive. Get himself in the box, hurt himself a little bit in the sense of his running ability to get in the box. And I think he will score goals.
“He is finding it difficult to adjust but he will get there in the end. He is still a young man and he is a good enough player to adapt to the tempo and the ferocity of the Premier League.”
Timo Werner also arrived at Chelsea in the summer after a meteoric rise to prominence in Germany with RB Leipzig and, like Havertz, has so far failed to live up to expectations in the final third for Lampard’s side.
However, Hoddle thinks the £47.5 million ($63m) signing, who has drawn blanks in each of his last eight outings across all competitions, has shown enough to suggest he will end up being a valuable asset for the Blues in the long-term.
“Werner will come back, he has hit a bit of a lull but I have no doubt about that. He has already shown Chelsea fans enough that he is a top player,” he said.
“I think a goal here or there and he will be back to his very best. He is a top-quality player, down the middle or wide.”