Kai Havertz: ‘Chelsea forward ignites as Blues’ season reaches peak of possibilities’

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Kai Havertz’s Chelsea career has been a slow-burner but the gifted young German has demonstrated impeccable timing to ignite just as their season reaches a peak of possibilities. Havertz arrived at Chelsea last summer from Bayer Leverkusen, in a club record deal that could be worth around £71m, amid the sort of fanfare befitting one of the most coveted young forwards in Europe.

The 21-year-old’s languid style meant that for much of his time under Frank Lampard – the man in charge when he was signed – he looked ill-at-ease, off the pace and marginalised. And Havertz’s hopes of making an instant impact were further hampered when he contracted Covid-19 in November, recounting later that he spent “seven to 10 days just in my bed and everything was hurting”.

Those early months looked a distant memory on Wednesday. Against Real Madrid, Havertz demonstrated what all the fuss was about with a majestic combination of poise, elegance and power, as Chelsea completed a thoroughly deserved win over ageing opponents to confirm an all-Premier League Champions League final with Manchester City in Istanbul on 29 May.

Yes, Havertz could have been more clinical but class oozed from every pore and a couple of physical challenges showed he has all the assets to be the complete package. One in particular sent a message loud and clear.

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