Criticism of Chelsea’s Kai Havertz has been blasted as ‘nonsense’ by the midfielder’s former team-mate.
Havertz is a doubt for Thursday’s FA Cup trip to Barnsley as he recovers from a recent knock.
But more worrying for Chelsea is the fact the 21-year-old has struggled to make an impact since his £72million signing from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.
Havertz has made just 12 Premier League starts since arriving at Stamford Bridge – and hasn’t scored in the top flight since the 3-3 draw against Southampton back in October.
It’s not the kind of return Chelsea fans were expecting after he plundered 18 goals and nine assists in all competitions for Leverkusen last season.
Kai Havertz has so far failed to replicate the form he showed at Bayer Leverkusen
(Image: Getty Images)
But his former team-mate Jonathan Tah has backed Havertz to silence the doubters once he has had time to adapt to English football.
“I’ve been watching the Chelsea games regularly since then (the move),” the Leverkusen defender told Sport 1.
“It’s super interesting because Timo Werner and Antonio Rüdiger also play there. I know what qualities Kai has.
“The game there is different than in Germany. There is a lot of talk in such phases: He has to do this and that because he has cost so and so much.
Leverkusen centre-back Jonathan Tah backed pal Havertz to ‘convince the critics’
“But that’s nonsense. Give the boy time; then he will show his enormous qualities at Chelsea too. Kai will convince all the critics over there!”
Havertz last week received the backing of ex-Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack, who urged his former club to be patient with the playmaker.
He said his countryman had been used to more freedom in attack at Leverkusen, and needed to improve the defensive side of his game now he is playing in the Premier League game.
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