Chelsea’s Kai Havertz made to work for his place after opening day win against Palace

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz made to work for his place after opening day win against Palace

There are few fans – both Chelsea and neutral alike – that would claim that Kai Havertz is not an incredibly gifted footballer.

The dynamic German attacking midfielder has already had a considerable impact at the club since his big-money move last summer from Bayer Leverkusen, having helped the club net both a Champions League win and a Super Cup triumph in just 12-months.

Havertz, and fellow German international Timo Werner, both came to Chelsea with the intent on winning major honors and though that goal has already been achieved, Havertz’s place in Thomas Tuchel’s team is hardly guaranteed.

Part of that is perhaps the nature of playing for Chelsea, a club that is willing to spend freely to compete at the top level of the domestic and European game. This was put on display once again this summer when they acquired former Blues forward and current Belgian icon Romelu Lukaku for £97million in a return to Stamford Bridge amidst a Santa Clause bottomless bag of expectations.

Chelsea’s win over Crystal Palace proves Kai Havertz must work for his place

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 01: Kai Havertz of Chelsea celebrates after scoring their team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge on May 01, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

And it is that very acquisition that immediately puts Havertz under the gun regarding a need to push for minutes and prove himself despite his successful record in major finals for Chelsea, which included his goal against Manchester City in the Champions League final, and an assist in the recent Super Cup win over Villarreal.

But Lukaku is sure to start against Arsenal next Sunday at the Emirates, ruling the Aachen-native out of operating through the center-forward channel. Additionally, the faith continuously – and justifiably placed – in academy product Mason Mount likely rules out at least one of the attacking midfield berths. Christian Pulisic’s goal this afternoon in Chelsea’s 3-0 win against Crystal Palace could put the American starlet in contention to start with Mount once again in tandem flanking Lukaku, which also relegates Timo Werner to the bench.

The wealth of attacking options at Stamford Bridge, which also includes the currently injured Hakim Ziyech, who was so impressive this pre-season, presents another potential selection obstacle for the former Die Werkself wunderkind. And for the first time in his club career, Havertz will truly be made to fight for minutes amongst a very talented – and deep – attacking unit.

At the very least, with a tactician like Tuchel at the helm, there will always be the possibility that the German tinkerman will tweak his selections based on opponent, need for rotation, and form. It is very easy to suggest that someone like Pulisic could fire hot and cold yet again, opening an avenue for selection. But as it currently stands, it is hard to look at the nature of Chelsea’s squad and suggest Kai Havertz is one of the first names on the team sheet. And, perhaps, that pressure could get the very best out of a player who remains one of the brightest young talents in Europe.

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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