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Havertz shows talent as Chelsea spearhead – now will he start vs Real?

That statistic underlines how much the German has struggled in his first season in English football. But this performance provided a tantalising glimpse of what he can offer Thomas Tuchel going forward. 

This was a consummate No9 display from Chelsea’s false nine. 

Both of his goals were a testament to his intelligence, movement and finishing prowess. 

That is what Chelsea thought they were buying when they beat Real Madrid to his signature last summer – spending £71million in the process. Yet it has been an underwhelming campaign, disrupted by injury, a nasty bout of coronavirus and managerial change. 

Is it any wonder he has failed to hit the ground running?

But the quality has never been in doubt – and there have been moments in recent weeks when his true ability has shone through. 

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Against Crystal Palace last month, he put on a virtuoso display. And he followed that up against Fulham with a match-winning performance that will make it difficult for Tuchel to leave him out of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Real. 

How fitting it would be were he to show the Spanish giants exactly what they are missing. In truth there have rarely been moments when anyone from Real will have looked on longingly at Havertz this season. He has been fitful at best – infuriatingly inconsistent at worst. 

A hat-trick against Barnsley in the EFL Cup back in September proved a false dawn as he managed just three more goals in all competitions before this game. 

Finding his best position has been the biggest issue – an area from which he can be of most influence.

There is still the sense that Tuchel is yet to come up with an answer, but Havertz has looked at his most promising when deployed in the middle of a front three, whether as a withdrawn striker or an orthodox No9. 


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