Jamie Carragher has questioned where Kai Havertz fits in Frank Lampard’s system at Chelsea following another underwhelming display.
The Blues have spent over £220m on new arrivals this summer. At just shy of their club record, the £71m spent on Havertz is the costliest of their new recruits.
Havertz struggled to make an impact on his debut in last Monday’s 3-1 win at Brighton. And he was the man to make way at half-time when Chelsea slipped to a 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool.
Havertz can perhaps consider himself slightly unlucky, however. His withdrawal came when it did following Andreas Christensen’s red card just before the break for a rugby tackle on Sadio Mane.
How to get the best out of Havertz though remains a conundrum for Lampard. While his withdrawal was as much tactical as anything else, Carragher doesn’t think Lampard knows the player’s best position yet.
“I think of the problem Frank’s got is that he’s new to the job and he’s made all these changes,” Carragher said on Sky Sports.
“It’s difficult to manage change. When you think of the great managers, Klopp hasn’t really managed to do that in some ways at Liverpool.
“Maybe in the next year to 18 months, the team will evolve and the second team of Klopp will come. I’m not even sure Pep Guardiola has had that really in his management career.
“I looked at Chelsea last season as being a 4-3-3 team, and now and again Frank threw a three at the back in tactically in big games. He beat Jose Mourinho twice and he beat Guardiola here.
“He went to 4-2-3-1 at Brighton with Havertz on the right. Today, he played him in a false nine.
“He’s obviously a quality player, there’s no doubt about that. But I’m already thinking, ‘where does Havertz play?’ even after just two games.”
Due to the costs involved in bringing Havertz to the club from Bayer Leverkusen, Carragher insists Lampard will feel obliged to pick Havertz.
But finding a system to suit his game may be tricky and the player himself may need time to adapt.
“He will play as Frank has paid big money for him, but where does he fit into a 4-3-3?” Carragher questioned.
“He almost looks like a No 10 and we don’t see that much in football nowadays.
“He’s either going to have to be part of the front three in a wide position or he’s going to have to be part of a midfield three and be the attacking player from the midfield.
“Certainly where he played today, I don’t think that suited Chelsea.
“It may have suited him having played for Leverkusen in the false nine, but it will be a challenge working out where Chelsea are going to play all these players.”