Frank Lampard has defended Kai Havertz and his decision to play the Germany international on the right flank against Everton after recent criticism.
It is fair to say that things haven’t gone well for the 21-year-old recently.
Since returning from an isolation period after testing positive for Covid-19, Havertz has looked off the pace.
He has had just one assist from four starts in all competitions in December.
Some Chelsea fans were particularly unhappy with his performance in the 1-0 loss against Everton on Saturday.
Starting as a right winger, Havertz failed to deliver a single cross and made just one key pass before being taken off in the 67th minute.
There have also been questions over Lampard’s decision to play him on the right flank in the first place.
The Chelsea manager has hit back at the critics and defended both Havertz and his decision.
Lampard urged fans to give Havertz time to adapt
“In the modern day, there’s going to be criticism for every player of every club that loses a game, or if something doesn’t go right,” he told reporters in his post-match press conference (via Chelsea’s official website).
“We certainly should be patient with Kai Havertz from a Chelsea end because he’s a top-quality talent coming into this league.
“He’s played off the right wing countless times before he signed for Chelsea.
“He can play in any position across the front and in midfield also so that’s not an issue.”
Lampard insisted that Havertz still needs time to adapt to the Premier League, particularly as a young player.
“If people want to jump straight in to criticise, I’d say just wait and give a young player time,” he added.
“Whether it’s a week or a month or six months or a year — and come back to me, because I know the player that Kai Havertz is going to be.”