Kai Havertz and the rest of Chelsea’s ever-expanding crop of summer signings are going to need time in which to find their feet at Stamford Bridge, says Ashley Cole.
Frank Lampard has been freed to indulge himself in the current recruitment window after the transfer shackles were shaken off in west London, with Roman Abramovich bankrolling another elaborate spending spree.
Excitement and expectation has risen as a result, with Lampard now under pressure to deliver.
He is, however, having to ease a number of Premier League rookies into his ranks – with Havertz, Timo Werner, Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech and Malang Sarr experiencing life in England for the first time.
They could soon be joined by Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, with former Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell the only player requiring no adjustment period, although he is currently injured.
Inconsistency is to be expected amid a period of much change, with Havertz encapsulating that as the highly-rated playmaker waits on a spark in his game, but Cole believes patience will be rewarded.
The former Chelsea defender told Sky Sports, with Lampard’s side having slipped to a 2-0 defeat with 10 men against Liverpool last time out: “How much quality they have there is frightening and exciting at the same time.
“Yes, we’ve added loads of quality into the team. With Thiago Silva, we’ve added experience as well.
“We’re going to have to be patient at times to wait for them to gel. It’s definitely looking way more exciting than it was towards the late stage of last season.”
Chelsea were able to secure a top-four finish in 2019-20, while also reaching the FA Cup final, but tangible success is now demanded, with Havertz acquired as part of that project.
The 21-year-old former Bayer Leverkusen star has struggled to make an impact through his first two outings for the Blues – with Lampard having to sacrifice him at half-time against Liverpool after seeing Andreas Christensen sent off – but Cole is confident the Germany international will come good.
A man who spent eight years at Stamford Bridge in his playing days added: “He’s a very, very high quality player.
“It was his first game against Brighton where he had just two days of training with the team, so it’s tough.
“He’s just finding his feet, getting into the team, understanding the way Frank wants to play, but we’re definitely going to see great things from this guy because he’s such a great talent.”