News Live Scores
Chelsea

Havertz's willingness to play in different roles is a real plus for Chelsea, says Lampard

22:30 GMT 01/11/2020
Havertz Chelsea 2020
The 21-year-old Germany international has moved position almost every week as the Blues boss looks how to get the most from his side

Frank Lampard has praised Kai Havertz's personality and versatility to play in different roles as the Chelsea manager moves the Germany international around to find an increased balance in his team.

Chelsea put in arguably their most complete performance of the season in a comfortable 3-0 away win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday thanks to goals from Hakim Ziyech, Kurt Zouma and Timo Werner.

It came as Lampard opted for a 4-3-3 system for the first time from the start of a game, with Havertz and Mason Mount as the two number eights in midfield, either side of the more defensively-minded holding player N'Golo Kante.

The system saw Havertz play in a deeper role than he has been playing in since his arrival from Bayer Leverkusen and Lampard admits to experimenting with how to get the best out of his £62 million ($80m) summer signing.

"It is a real plus when someone comes in and says they are happy to play in a number of positions," Lampard told reporters following the win at Burnley.

"He can play as a number 10  or out wide, which he played in previously for club and country before coming here. I know he has played as a number eight too, so that was part of the process for me, him and the team to find the best way.

"It is very normal when you miss pre-season and you are looking for those tweaks in formation at the start of the season. Now, we are playing in a slightly different way and there have been a number of positives. That doesn't mean that we can't change back.

"It is great to see what it did for Kai and Mason in bringing those attributes from what we regard as really offensive players but they also have the energy and desire to cover ground to help the team.

"They then pick the ball up and can be dangerous when they arrive high [up the pitch], they are both things that Kai and Mason have. Again, it is through the balance of the team and working on that but I am really impressed with the humility of those two to do both sides of the number eight role.

"That's what I want from the players that play when it is two number eights. I want them to help build offensively, join, help build, make assists and get goals. They both did it today."

Indeed, both Havertz and Mount impressed at both ends of the pitch as Chelsea dominated possession, created a host of chances and earned their fourth clean sheet in a row.

Like Havertz, Mount has played in a number of roles this season but the 4-3-3 allows him to play in his favoured central midfield position. Lampard has been impressed with how his homegrown star has responded to competition from new signings like Havertz, Ziyech and Werner this season.

"I never doubted Mason Mount's response professionally," he added. "There are things I see behind the scenes that maybe some from the outside don’t. His attitude is first class every minute of every day in a work sense.

"I liked the balance of the midfield. N’Golo Kante was fantastic behind Mason and Kai and there was a fluidity about it where they drop out and get on the ball in deeper areas and provide for others. There was a lot of energy in that midfield as well as quality."

Chelsea's four clean sheets in a row have coincided with the addition of new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who faces his former club Rennes in the Champions League on Wednesday.

In fact, no Chelsea goalkeeper has put together three clean sheets in their first three league matches for the club since Petr Cech did it in 2004, and Mendy has impressed Lampard so far.

"He’s done so well so I’m pleased for the way he’s started and his personality again when you sign players and bring them into the group you want to see how they are," he concluded.

"You never quite know until they are in the building. He’s settled in really quite well. He’s engaging, trains hard, wants to talk and make relationships with the players in front of him. It’s been a really good start and I’m pleased he’s playing his old team, I think it’s a nice story."