Kai Havertz is finding out the hard way that a £70 million ($95m) price tag was always going to weigh heavy on his shoulders, says former Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot.
With Havertz’s star very much on the rise, Frank Lampard was considered to have acquired himself a player that could thrive on a Premier League stage.
Chelsea are still waiting on that fuse to be lit, with a talented 21-year-old taking a while to find his feet in new surroundings.
Melchiot claims that was always going to be the case, given the relative lack of experience a Germany international had under his belt.
He remains convinced that Havertz will come good, but accepts that expectation around him will not be reined in as so much faith and funding has been invested in his potential.
Ex-Blues star Melchiot told talkSPORT: “I knew Kai Havertz before he came to Chelsea. I knew Kai was a great talent.
“The only difference I see is that in the system Chelsea play he comes from the outside, but in Germany he was a No.10 or a striker.
“He had more freedom because the team was built around him.
“When he comes to Chelsea, he’s not going to get that! They have a player that has to get used to a certain way of playing and that takes time.
“People don’t expect him to need more time because of the price tag; people want him to fire straight away.”
Another former Chelsea defender, Jason Cundy, is another that expects Havertz to start firing if he is given the time in which to play himself into peak form.
He added: “He’s 21 years of age, he’s come from Germany and he hasn’t settled yet.
“When you pay £70m for a player of that age you’re mostly paying for his potential. It’s a lot of money and we will see – you can’t judge him after 12 games.
“He’s struggling, right now he’s struggling, but from what we heard and you listen to a lot of people who know German football, he is a great talent.
Source : goal.com