Paul Merson has explained why Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has a big decision to make tomorrow when it comes to his team selection.
Chelsea are currently preparing for Saturday afternoon’s Premier League trip to Manchester City, as the top two in the division clash at the Etihad Stadium.
Pundit Merson highlights there an interesting choice that will need to be made in attack regarding Kai Havertz.
Havertz, 22, was left out of the midweek cup victory against Tottenham by remaining an unused substitute, as well as featuring off the bench last weekend in the FA Cup against Chesterfield.
The £150,000-a-week forward has played second fiddle to Romelu Lukaku very recently, but he’s got the versatility to play in any of the attacking positions within Tuchel’s system.
Merson has been discussing whether the Chelsea boss will leave Havertz out again or not:
“In terms of their attacking options, it’ll be interesting to see who Thomas Tuchel decides to go with. Kai Havertz was outstanding in the first leg [against Tottenham] and played arguably his best football in a Chelsea shirt, but there’s also Timo Werner, whose pace could be a huge asset. That said, if Werner plays, he’ll have to come up against the pace of Kyle Walker, so they could well end up cancelling each other out!” Merson wrote.
“Havertz, on the other hand, has got the brain and the intelligence to open up teams and make clever runs into the box, so this will be a big call for Tuchel.”
Chelsea attacking puzzle
Of course, the romantic Chelsea supporter will want Havertz back in the XI at the weekend after he scored the winner against Man City in last season’s Champions League final.
The left-footed attacker is superb when he’s on form, plus he should feel fairly fresh without an overload of football in the last week.
He is in competition with Germany teammate Timo Werner for an attacking spot at Stamford Bridge. However, you have to throw the likes of Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Lukaku into that conversation as well.
Havertz, described as “brilliant” by Mount last month, must be desperate to get on the pitch at the Etihad tomorrow. He’s certainly a player that will still cause City players and fans nightmares when reflecting on the Champions League.
His return of five goals in 24 appearances so far this campaign is why he’s not a nailed-on starter right now, though.