Southampton draw illustrates Kai Havertz conundrum Frank Lampard needs to solve
Kai Havertz’s brilliant playmaking comes at a big price that Frank Lampard has to solve before it cost Chelsea more points, statistics show.
A lot of expectations understandably rest on the 21-year-old’s shoulder given the huge transfer fee involved in his Chelsea move this summer.
Not to mention his eye-catching record of 16 goals and eight assists in all competitions for Bayer Leverkusen last season that got a lot of people to consider him ‘the next big thing’ from Germany.
The four goals and an assist for the Blues so far show he undoubtedly has the talent but he might be a more luxurious attacker than most people expect.
Despite the criticism about Frank Lampard’s system that put his team under so much pressure defensively, the statistics may have shed a different light on their defensive issues.
According to Whoscored, Chelsea have had the best record in dealing with opponents’ tackles in the Premier League this season.
On average, they have only been dispossessed 5.2 times per game. In comparison, Manchester City lost the ball to opponents’ tackles 12.5 times per game, while Liverpool had it 10.6 per game.
It’s when the players had to control the ball under pressure that they lost most of their possession of the ball — with 19.8 unsuccessful touches per game, the second-worst in the league.
Havertz has lost the ball 27 seven times (the most at Chelsea) in five league appearances — 13 unsuccessful touches and 14 times being dispossessed by opponents (Statsbomb via FBref).
And to put it into perspective, N’Golo Kante who is known for sloppy touches and passes has lost the ball 11 times — four miscontrols and seven times lost the ball to opponents.
It was only about time until Havertz lost the ball in a dangerous area and cost the team which is unfortunately what happened on Saturday against Southampton.
“We’re very frustrated about the result,” Havertz told Chelsea’s official website after the game.
“We had 42 good minutes in the first half but when I made a mistake we conceded a goal, which changed the game a little bit.”
He may need more time to adapt to a new league but those unsuccessful touches are something the whole Chelsea team certainly need to work on in training.