Thomas Tuchel has challenged Kai Havertz to “show his teeth when it gets tough” as the German head coach of Chelsea backed his compatriot to show his “endless” potential.
Havertz was a big-money signing from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer as he joined Timo Werner on the books at Stamford Bridge, costing a reported £75million as one of Germany’s brightest young talents headed for west London.
Just as the 21-year-old was starting to find his feet in the top flight, he was struck down by coronavirus which severely impacted him and he has struggled to get anywhere near back to those levels since.
Frank Lampard’s struggles to get the best out of Havertz and Timo Werner is one main reason why he was sacked as manager earlier this week, with Tuchel coming in to replace the club record goalscorer after 18-months at the helm.
Tuchel was full of praise for Havertz for making the big leap from the Bundesliga to the Premier League at such a young age and also explained just how different it is coming from a club like Leverkusen to a club like Chelsea who demand the very best and consistently challenging for the highest honours.
“His potential is endless, almost endless. It is a challenge for him, and I think he made a very brave choice, you have to understand,” a passionate Tuchel said.
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“I am a huge fan of Bayer Leverkusen in terms of how they have developed as a club over years and years and what players they developed and what quality of football they play.
“But, you come from Leverkusen to Chelsea, the culture can not be any more different. A club where it is OK to maybe be second or third best, to reach the top four and repeat for this on a very high level.
“Then you go to a club where they talk about trophies and winning titles, it is so open, there is a certain atmosphere like at Bayern Munich they do this every…