With Kai Havertz reportedly closer to Bayer Leverkusen exit (SkySports), Frank Lampard’s recent midfield plan could help us understand where the Germany international might fit in at Chelsea.
If you have been following Chelsea since the Premier League restart, you must have noticed a difference in Chelsea midfield, prior and after the lockdown period.
Lampard has used N’Golo Kante at the base of the midfield in all six recent games except for the last win over Crystal Palace, with Mason Mount and Ross Barkley often playing the more advanced midfield roles.
Lampard’s new ‘fluid’ midfield
“Playing teams with low blocks that make it difficult for you,” the manager explained his new midfield system to Chelsea’s official website.
“To be able to get players that arrive with real technical abilities high up the pitch and around the box, and find a pass or take someone out the game with skill and a finish, is big in those games.
“If we feel like we are going to have a lot of control, generally I play with midfield players that can play high, can play on the side, and can do the defensive duties as well.
Unsurprisingly, Lampard picked out Mount and Barkley as those who fit the criteria.
New system allows Lampard to field two more attacking midfielders
Mount’s work-rate is simply crucial and Barkley arguably possesses the biggest goal-scoring threats, alongside Ruben Loftus-Cheek, amongst Chelsea midfielders.
But having two ‘more attacking’ No.8s also has its downside, the deep midfielder will often have to shoulder bigger defensive responsibility, hence Kante’s recent role.
Should Havertz join Chelsea, he would likely play a similar role to Barkley, as the creative, goal-scoring centre-midfielder.
Havertz would offer significant improvement in midfield output
Having two more-direct midfielders and a defensively dependable holding player could be the way forward for Lampard, rather than having Jorginho and Kovacic who excel at retaining possession, but not as threatening in breaking down defences.
Havertz’s 17 goals and eights assist (in across all competitions this term could really boost Chelsea’s output from midfield.
At the moment, Loftus-Cheek (0.45 expected non-penalty goal plus expected assist per 90 minutes – FBref), Barkley (0.44) and Mount (0.34) are Chelsea’s biggest threats from midfield (Havertz at 0.54 according to FBref).
Although they are much better offensively compared to Jorginho at 0.15, Mateo Kovacic at 0.16 and Kante at 0.19 — the last season’s go-to midfield three — which combined are expected to provide an assist or score a goal once every two games.
- Report: Havertz pushes for summer exit, but Chelsea fall short of Leverkusen’s demand
- Report: Chelsea would want £57m fee for ‘unhappy’ Jorginho
- Is this why Jorginho was left out of Chelsea’s XI?