Kai Havertz tipped to give Thomas Tuchel a ‘huge problem’ at Chelsea

Kai Havertz impressed in a central striking role during the 2-0 win against Lille  (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Kai Havertz impressed in a central striking role during the 2-0 win against Lille (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel has been warned he could face a “huge problem” if Kai Havertz continues to perform well in a central striking role.

The German scored an eighth-minute opener as Chelsea took control of their Champions League Round of 16 tie against Lille with a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

It is a role in which Havertz also impressed at the end of last season.

Conversely, marquee summer striking addition Romelu Lukaku has struggled for form this season, registering just seven touches during the win against Crystal Palace on Saturday, a new low for any Premier League player to have played a full 90 minutes since Opta began collecting data in the 2003-04 season.

Speaking after the Lille victory, former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole expressed his fear that Havertz’s form may be bad for the Belgian, and cause Tuchel some headaches, too.

“It’s a huge problem,” Cole said on BT Sport. “Think about his form at the end of last season when he was able to drop off and runners go and behind him, his best position is a No.9, but that’s bad for Lukaku.

“[Havertz] takes charge of the situation, gets in between defenders, runs across them and he held up the ball well for Chelsea tonight.

“He doesn’t make silly runs, he plays with conviction, he takes charge of the situation, that’s a striker’s mentality. He was at it all night.

“He comes alive in the box, wherever he plays. He reminds me of a [Roberto] Firmino type player, someone that knits it all together, he would have been a nightmare to mark tonight.”

Lukaku, who returned to Chelsea from Inter Milan in a deal believed to be worth just short of £100 million last summer, was an unused substitute in the first leg against Lille.

“I felt he was a little bit tired,” Tuchel said of the decision to omit the Belgian. “He looked a little exhausted and you have to consider that he’s played a lot.”