Frank Lampard has urged patience with Kai Havertz after suggesting the playmaker may need a whole season to adapt to the Premier League after he was hauled off in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at Everton.
Part of the Germanyinternational’s struggles have come after he suffered from symptoms of coronavirus that left him unwell and unable to train for a fortnight.
Having recovered three weeks ago, Lampard used Havertz on the right wing on Merseyside, with Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi all suffering from hamstring injuries.
Lampard believes Havertz can play anywhere across the forward line but he needs more time to reach his best level.
“In the modern day there will be a criticism of every player at every club who loses a game or something didn’t go right, a pass went astray,” Lampard told reporters. “We certainly should be patient with Kai Havertz from a Chelsea end.
“He’s a top quality talent, has come into this league and is playing on the right-wing. He can play in any position across the front and the right-wing countless times before he signed for Chelsea. He can play in midfield also.
“That’s not an issue. He can do that. But we do have to be patient. Not just him, but any young player with the speed of the Premier League. I’ve got no problems with Kai.
“I said that last week and if people want to criticise him, jump straight down – just wait and give a young player time, whether it be a week, a month, six months or a year. I know the player he’s going to be.”
Chelsea’s defeat to the Toffees saw them end a run of 17 games unbeaten in all competitions. They also dropped down to fifth in the table following Sunday wins for Southampton and Leicester.
Lampard admits that it is a new challenge for his predominantly young group of players to overcome disappointment after an impressive run comes to an end.
“We’re a new group,” he added. “We lost one game already to Liverpool and, in that game, we had 10 men and missed a penalty. On another day that could have gone a different way for us and it was a circumstance kind of the game.
“This will be a challenge for the players and it’s a game of football. In the Premier League you’re going to lose games so it is very important we put perspective on it, considering the run we’ve been on. The game was the game.
“The first 20 minutes it was clear it was going to be physical and second balls. The edge was in the game and we weren’t quite on edge ourselves. We didn’t find enough answers. But I’m not going to say I’ve learnt anything from one game because it’s been a good run we’ve been on.
“Our creative play wasn’t as good as it’s been but some of that will have been how well they defended and organised against us. That happens in football and when that happens, you need to keep a clean sheet and the two or three times you hit the woodwork the ball goes in the net. It didn’t today.”
Source : goal.com