Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel challenges Kai Havertz to 'fight back into shape'

Sean Walsh
Havertz is on a barren run
Havertz is on a barren run / Michael Steele/GettyImages
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Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Kai Havertz's dip in form is likely due to him not being in peak physical condition, but demanded to see more of a response from the forward.

After a strong early-Spring spell, Havertz has gone five games without a goal and has looked a little sluggish up top for the Blues.

The 22-year-old drew another blank in Chelsea's frustrating 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Thursday, and while Tuchel defended his countryman, he also insisted that he wants a 'reaction'.

"He needs to fight back into his shape. It is like this, I have the same feeling," Tuchel said.

"Hopefully, he shows a reaction. The guys are still young upfront and we will not start pointing fingers because lately, they have been very, very composed and very efficient in front of goal. Against Southampton and in the win at the Bernabeu, we took our chances very well and very precisely.

"It's like this. When we look at the data and think about who plays and who does not play, we see a huge amount of intensity and sprints from Kai and Timo [Werner]. So they don't arrive fully, fully fresh at the moment in these matches and that's why we will always protect them because it's a team game we play and we demand a lot off the ball to have high recoveries. But I agree, in the last weeks, he had a kind of shape and form that he would've put this game to bed for us."


Listen now to 90min's brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott Saunders & Graeme Bailey. Toby Cudworth joins the show again this week to discuss how Erik ten Hag's appointment may affect Man Utd's pursuit of Paul Mitchell. There is also chat on the futures of Jesse Lingard & David de Gea and a look at what Newcastle are planning this summer.


Tuchel was then asked how his players can expect to both be in top physical condition but also provide the clinical edge that Chelsea have been lacking recently.

"That is the target to which we work. It's also for them to adapt, there is still a time of adaptation to the rhythm and schedule," he added.

"The schedule is ruthless for us and still, it's the moment that they have to adapt to the league, the physicality, the rhythm, the demands. The boys are still young: Mason [Mount] is still young, Timo is still young, Kai is still young.

"It will come, they will learn because they are good guys and have the right attitude. It's not always easy to arrive fully composed and with the biggest ease because we demand a lot off the counter-pressing, attacking with the first line when the opponents wants to play out. So they have a bit of credit."

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