LONDON (Reuters) – Chelsea’s attacking midfielder Kai Havertz will be given time to settle into life at Stamford Bridge so he can live up to his exciting potential, manager Frank Lampard said on Wednesday (Sept 9).
Chelsea signed the highly rated Havertz from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen last week on a five-year deal for a fee that British media reported was around 71 million pounds (S$126 million).
Havertz scored 46 goals and made 31 assists in 150 games for the German club but Lampard sought to play down expectations on the 21-year-old ahead of Monday’s Premier League season opener at Brighton.
“The ability to score and know the right areas to arrive into, which I’ve seen in Kai… can be quite a natural instinct but it’s something that can be worked on, improved,” Lampard told Chelsea’s website.
“We also have to understand he’s a fantastic young talent but we must give him time to let him settle, let those talents come through.
“So we’ll see him give everything that we want him to give in terms of goals and assists and hopefully those numbers will go up, but we also must give him time. In terms of his talent, we’re in for having a really exciting player.”
Lampard, whose youthful side finished fourth last season, said he was encouraged by the versatility offered by Havertz.
“It’s refreshing as a manager when you have a player come in who can play in different positions and also wants to play in different positions,” Lampard added.
“He has great talent on the ball, his productivity is brilliant in terms of goalscoring and assists, and physically he’s great in terms of how he can get around the pitch.”