LONDON • Chelsea manager Frank Lampard hailed Kai Havertz’s hat-trick performance in their 6-0 League Cup win over Barnsley as the first of many great nights to come from the Germany forward.
The club’s most expensive summer signing struggled in Premier League games against Brighton and Liverpool, but showed on Wednesday why Chelsea spent £71 million (S$124.5 million) to get him from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen.
His first senior treble came from four shots – all on target, with no player registering more efforts. Havertz also made more tackles (five) than any other player.
“I said in the last two games that Kai has had no pre-season and in signing for the club, I think it took a few days out as well,” Lampard told reporters after Chelsea booked their place in the fourth round, where they will face Tottenham or Leyton Orient.
“The combinations he had with Tammy Abraham, the way he grew into the game and had confidence and the three goals.
“It was a great night for Kai and the first of many for him.”
Havertz is already looking forward to facing West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League tomorrow.
“I think that step by step, I will be fitter and this match was very good for me, to get more confidence,” said the 21-year-old, who completed his hat-trick against the Championship side inside 65 minutes when he nutmegged the goalkeeper and stroked the ball home.
“I hope to continue on Saturday like that.”
Fellow new boys Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell made their Chelsea debuts against the second-tier English team, while Abraham and Ross Barkley made the most of rare starts to get their names on the scoresheet, with Olivier Giroud completing the scoring.
ACCLIMATISING TO ENGLISH GAME
I think that step by step, I will be fitter and this match was very good for me, to get more confidence. I hope to continue on Saturday like that.
” KAI HAVERTZ , Chelsea and Germany forward believes he is settling into life at Stamford Bridge after his blockbuster summer move and has West Bromwich Albion next in his sights.
Chelsea yesterday took their summer spending to £250 million with the signing of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes on a five-year deal for a reported fee of £22 million.
The Senegal stopper kept nine clean sheets in 24 Ligue 1 appearances last season.
The 28-year-old was one of the main reasons why Rennes secured Champions League qualification for the first time in the club’s history, saving 76.3 per cent of shots he faced.
He will compete for a starting spot with Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has struggled for form and confidence at Stamford Bridge, and could start against the Baggies.
Arsenal won the only all-Premier League tie on Wednesday as they beat Leicester 2-0.
Christian Fuchs’ own goal broke the deadlock at the King Power Stadium and Eddie Nketiah added a late second for the Gunners, who could face Liverpool at Anfield twice in three days next week should the Premier League champions progress past Lincoln this morning (Singapore time).
Everton continued their fine start to the season with a 5-2 win at League One side Fleetwood despite two howlers from England No. 1 Jordan Pickford, while Newcastle recorded their biggest away win, hammering third-tier Morecambe 7-0.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE