Kai Havertz has struggled to live up to his 71 million pounds ($95 million) price tag since arriving at Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen but manager Frank Lampard said the 21-year-old must be give time to prove his worth.
Havertz, who has scored just one Premier League goal this season, missed three matches after testing positive for COVID-19 in November and has been substituted in each of their last four games, including Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Everton.
“In the modern day there is going to be criticism for every player of every club who loses a game,” Lampard said. “We should be patient with Havertz from the Chelsea end because he is a top-quality talent who has come into this league.
“He can play in any position across the front three and he has played on the right countless times before he played for Chelsea.
“People who want to jump on to criticise should just wait and give a young player time. I know the player that Havertz is going to be.”
Havertz said last week that COVID-19 had left him with such severe fatigue that he felt like he had not played soccer before.
Chelsea, who are fifth on 22 points, three behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur, face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday.