Football News

Thomas Tuchel breaks down his ‘Bergkamp-Van Persie hybrid’ player’s role in Chelsea’s XI

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:04, 15 April 2022

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has compared Kai Havertz to Dutch masters Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie.

The 22-year-old midfielder-cum-forward is the Blues leading scorer this season having managed 13 goals across 37 matches in all competitions. Since joining the Premier League giants from boyhood club Bayer Leverkusen the native of Aachen has been utilised on the flanks or down the middle as either a number 10 or false nine.

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Across his last five Premier League appearances, Havertz has exclusively been fielded as a centre-forward, he’s subsequently registered five goals and created one more. Last time out against Southampton he started alongside compatrit Timo Werner with Mason Mount playing in the space behind as Chelsea lined up in a 3-4-1-2 shape.

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Asked what label he’d attach to Kai Havertz’s position, Tuchel said: “I’m not still not sure.

“I see a kind of Dennis Bergkamp, Robin van Persie, Berbatov kind of player

“He can play in the half position because he makes good runs. But he is also free from the No.9 and creates overloads when he floats to one side, and he arrives in the six-yard box.”

Hoddle, who was interviewing Tuchel for NBC, suggested Havertz is often prepared to position himself on either wing.

“It’s not always an advantage but he has good timing.

“When PSG watched Leverkusen because they had a very interesting squad, they made him play as a nine. And I watched him in a cup final against Bayern or something with my staff and said, like, ‘this could be a good role for him. Let’s see.’

“He’s used to playing from the half-field which makes him very fluid.”