Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has named Kai Havertz as his new striker option as he explained Tammy Abraham’s omission in Sunday’s draw with Manchester United.
The 23-year-old ended his first senior season at Chelsea as the club top-scorer in the Premier League (15 goals) and is still leading Chelsea’s goalscoring charts in the league this season (6).
Obviously, Tuchel’s decision to exclude Abraham from the matchday squad at the weekend raised a few eyebrows.
Many initially thought the striker was still struggling with an ankle injury, but Tuchel has confirmed that it was a tactical decision.
The Chelsea boss clarified that there was no place for Abraham because he already has a third striker option in Havertz.
“It was a hard decision,” Tuchel said in his post-match press conference on Sunday (via HaytersTV).
“It was about judging the alternatives that we have, and we opted for Olivier Giroud to begin, Timo Werner on the bench.
“We have Kai Havertz who can play as a number nine, so there was no need to bring a fourth number nine to the pitch.
“Things are difficult for him [Abraham]. Things are not as easy as they should be for him at the moment, and he will get full support.”
This is very interesting because just a few days ago, Tuchel described Havertz’s best position as “between a nine and a 10” or a false nine.
The Germany international is certainly familiar with playing up front, and even discovered his best goalscoring form as a centre forward for Leverkusen.
To put it into perspective, Havertz scored 12 goals in Bundesliga last season, and half of those came when he played as a No.9 (six goals in five games according to Transfermarkt).
At the moment, Mason Mount and Timo Werner seem to have cemented their places in Tuchel’s 3-4-3.
Havertz certainly would not mind playing as a central forward role if it helps him get more minutes on the pitch.