Chelsea: Saltor let down by Havertz vs Liverpool

Image for Chelsea: Saltor let down by Havertz vs Liverpool

Chelsea began their post-Graham Potter era with an uninspiring and frustrating goalless draw with fellow strugglers Liverpool at a flat Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening. 

It was a familiar storyline for the Blues that has a plagued their season – a destructive inability to find the back of the net. Within the first ten minutes, Bruno Saltor’s side could have been out of sight but an unbelievable amount of wastefulness from a variety of culprits was again the defining factor.

Across the game, the West London outfit accumulated a staggering xG of 2.43, in comparison to the Reds’ measly 0.29 to underline the painstaking issue that has ultimately cost Potter his job. 

One player, who has been consistently guilty of missing big chances and failing to stamp his authority on the pitch is Kai Havertz, with the peripheral German’s poor performance another clear indication of Chelsea’s desperation for a clinical striker.


How did Kai Havertz perform against Liverpool?

With Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang ousted from the squad and the young David Datro Fofana considered too experienced, Havertz is the closest thing Chelsea have to a ‘striker’ right now.

The 23-year-old forward is part of a Blues attack that has only scored 29 goals in 29 games, their lowest amount at this stage of the season since 1924. It is a horrendous statistic that reflects damningly on the forward, who Frank Lampard brought to the club for £71m in the summer of 2020.

In last night’s midtable encounter with Liverpool, the 34-cap international accumulated 1.01 xG, had four shots and missed two big chances, via Sofascore, as his side failed to capitalize on an underwhelming and vulnerable Jurgen Klopp team.

The one time the former Bayer Leverkusen prodigy did find the net, the ball was adjudged to have rebounded off his arm, to underline his dismal evening. 

Gary Neville said on commentary for Sky Sports that the £150k-per-week man “didn’t do anything right” and this was showcased by his 6.4 rating on Sofascore last night – the second-lowest of any Chelsea player. 

Aside from scoring, the skilful attacker also lacked creativity, as he didn’t complete any successful dribbles or accurate crosses, as per Sofascore. And Havertz was also weak in possession, losing as many as 64.5% of his duels, both on the ground and in the air. He also lost a handle of the ball 14 times across his 48 touches; once every 3.4 touches.

Therefore, fans are becoming increasingly impatient with the playmaker with ChelsSocial’s Tom Overend claiming that this “has to be the end” of the attacker’s time in England due to the fact he has “no preferred position, has poor finishing, and has not proven himself.”

This view was echoed by talkSPORT pundit Gabby Agbonlahor, who feels the £53m-rated striker is partly responsible for the dismissal of the last two managers prior to Potter. He said:

“Look at [Kai] Havertz, he saw two managers off, he is not doing anything. He is not a number nine or ten, he is not holding the ball up, or even scoring goals.”

Whilst it is unfair to shoulder the blame completely on Havertz, it is undeniable that his season has been a huge disappointment because a regular goalscorer must be prioritised in the next transfer window by the Chelsea hierarchy. 

Share this article