'That suits me': Chelsea forward sends a message to Tuchel about his strongest position

Kai Havertz explained his newly found fondness for playing as an unconventional striker in Chelsea’s attack.

In an interview with CBS Sports, Havertz detailed his experiences of featuring as a ‘false nine’ for the Blues this season.

Lets be Frank

One of the biggest issues surrounding the 21-year-old’s debut Chelsea campaign was trying to work out his best position.

Frank Lampard trialed him as an attacking midfielder, off to the right of a front four or a part of a midfield trio.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images


Nothing seemed to click for Havertz and he had the statistics to show for it.

In the 16 Premier League games he played under Lampard, the German managed just one goal and two assists.

But things changed following Thomas Tuchel’s arrival.

He set about implementing Havertz as a centre-forward, one that could break lines as well as link the play.

Although the goal contributions didn’t vastly improve- three goals and two assists in 11 league matches- his performances did pick up.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Havertz has found his mojo

Now coming to the end of his first term with Chelsea, Havertz has uncovered fresh confidence in his unorthodox role.

“I used to play it sometimes at (Bayer) Leverkusen as well,” he said.

“I’m not like the real number nine, I’m just like something in between.

“That suits me very well, I feel very confident there and the last few matches were good.

“I hope I continue playing like this. Maybe it’s harder for defenders that I don’t make the runs they’re used to.”

Champions League dilemmas

Havertz fulfilled the job very convincingly during the Champions League semi-final victory over Real Madrid.

His presence and general play were a pest to the Madrid defenders, especially Sergio Ramos, who seemed to age as the night progressed.

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Tuchel will have a big call to make heading into Saturday’s showdown with Manchester City about his fellow German.

Pep Guardiola has championed the ‘false nine’ this year, partly due to Sergio Aguero’s injury problems. He could easily field a side without a traditional centre-forward on the weekend.

Does Tuchel go like-for-like by using Havertz in a similar vein, or go for a more obvious option in Timo Werner?

Whatever the decision, be sure Guardiola will have a solution for every scenario.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.