‘I just don’t quite get it’: Andy Townsend doubts Kai Havertz’s ability to lead Chelsea’s floundering forward line as he sympathises with the issues faced by under-pressure Graham Potter
- Chelsea have scored meagre 23 goals in 23 Premier League games this term
- Kai Havertz has faced criticism for his lack of potency in front of goal for Chelsea
- Graham Potter finds himself under increasing pressure to find solutions quickly
Andy Townsend has doubted Kai Havertz’s suitability at leading Chelsea’s floundering forward line amid mounting pressure on manager Graham Potter.
The Blues have scored a meagre 23 goals in as many Premier League games this term, with January’s £300m outlay not improving matters much with Potter’s side having only registered four goals in all competitions this calendar year.
Havertz, signed from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020 in a deal worth £75m, is the club’s joint-top scorer this season in all competitions with six goals.
Despite that, Townsend, speaking to TalkSport, spoke about Chelsea’s problems in front of goal and seemed to identify the German as at least part of the problem.
‘Graham Potter is not alone here by the way, Thomas Tuchel also had issues there. He couldn’t get Timo Werner firing and trying to get the best out of Kai Havertz was difficult,’ he said.
Andy Townsend has said that he does not quite get Kai Havertz amid mounting questions over the German’s suitability to lead the line
Havertz is the club’s joint-top scorer this season – though he has only managed six goals
‘I haven’t really seen Kai Havertz get to a point where I think, “this kid is going to be the real deal”. I just don’t quite get it, I don’t quite see it with him.
The former Chelsea player added: ‘So it’s not easy for Graham Potter but there’s enough personnel there to find better solutions and to have better combinations at the top of the pitch.
‘They have to be better and create more chances. I don’t see Chelsea creating enough chances or the fans on the edge of their seats expecting goals right now.’
Havertz has enjoyed something of a mixed time with Chelsea. Despite something of a tough first season when he appeared to struggle with the intensity of the Premier League at times, he ended it with a Champions League winners’ medal having scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Manchester City in Porto.
However, he has only scored 29 goals, a disappointing return for a player the club signed to much fanfare after a breakthrough season in the Bundesliga. He has not scored for Chelsea since a mid-January win over Crystal Palace.
At times, he has been questioned owing to his perceived lack of role. Chelsea appear no clearer than when he joined as to whether he is best behind a centre-forward or as that focal point himself.
Chelsea’s season under Potter reached a nadir last weekend when they lost 1-0 at home to bottom club Southampton.
Townsend, himself a former Chelsea player, appeared to have sympathy with Graham Potter
Despite his struggles, the German will always have his winning goal in Porto to fall back on
Potter spoke to the media ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Tottenham on Sunday and admitted to having endured a difficult week following the Southampton defeat
The result sparked a cacophony of boos from the Stamford Bridge crowd, with many supporters appearing to turn on the former Brighton and Swansea boss.
With pressure mounting, Potter accepted that it was always tough when you lose at home but praised his players for the way they have reacted this week.
‘It’s always tough when you lose at home, but the response of the players has been really good,’ Potter said on Friday.
‘We’ve talked and tried to put things into perspective as well, because that’s also important, but at the same time it’s been a tough week.’
Chelsea travel to Tottenham on Sunday with both sides looking to alleviate persistent questions over their managers’ future.