Tuchel wants more from Havertz as ‘absolute quality’ starts to shine through from Chelsea’s £70m star

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Thomas Tuchel was pleased to see Kai Havertz shine again for Chelsea in a false nine role against Crystal Palace but has challenged the German to show his “absolute quality” on a more consistent basis.

A talented 21-year-old has endured a testing debut campaign in England on the back of a £70 million ($96m) switch from Bayer Leverkusen.

The arrival of fellow countryman Tuchel in the dugout, along with a positional tweak, has started to bring more out of him, with a well-taken goal recorded in a 4-1 win at Selhurst Park.

What has been said?

Tuchel told Sky Sports after seeing Havertz score one and create another as Chelsea burst out of the blocks against London rivals Palace: “I am not disappointed [with Havertz] but he could have actually scored more. He had two big chances to finish the game off.

“He has absolute quality. He needs to show his quality and that is the challenge for him.”

Havertz’s assessment

A highly-rated forward appears to have found his feet in a more advanced role for the Blues and is determined to offer more to the collective cause and overcoming a slow start to life at Stamford Bridge.

He said of his efforts against the Eagles: “Of course I'm happy but the most important thing is that we won. It was a good game from us, we could've scored more goals but we are really happy.

“In my position you always want to score. It wasn't easy, we created many chances and we maybe should've scored more but we are happy.

“I think I have the freedom to go where I want to go and I hope I can continue like that. In the second half, I had one or two good chances to score but of course, I'm happy.

“I think I have to prove it in more games but I will give my best and try to improve and I will continue like that.”

The bigger picture

Kurt Zouma Cesar Azpilicueta Chelsea 2020-21

Victory for Chelsea has ensured that they remain inside the Premier League’s top four, with the perfect response offered by Tuchel’s side to a shock 5-2 defeat at home to West Brom in their last top-flight outing.

“The first half an hour was excellent,” Tuchel said when reflecting on a positive showing at Selhurst Park.

“We were very hungry, very aggressive and got a lot of recoveries in the final third. It was a deserved lead.

“After 35 minutes we dropped a little in position and got a little bit sloppy. We continued like this a little in the second half but it was a good reaction after their goal. We created a lot of chances and didn't concede any big chances.

“Clearly we had many chances today. The guys were hungry and creative. We had a lot of good runs and good movement. We put pressure on ourselves to have the right response. It was a step in the right direction.

“Everything was bad against West Brom. The result was horrible but the stats were not as bad. Today we were very hungry, full of confidence and wanted to play a very aggressive game in terms of high recoveries.

“We were totally focused. It was good with the attitude today. It's a part of our DNA to be aggressive and should be. We showed that today.

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“Of course I came to England for the targets which was to finish in the top four. We have our own way to go. We need results continually.

“We had a setback last week but it is not the moment to look at other teams all the time. We are in the middle of the race. It's the target to finish there but it will be tough until the last end.”

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