Kai Havertz enjoyed arguably his finest Premier League display thus far since his arrival as Chelsea’s record signing in the summer.
A goal and an assist from the 21-year-old German playmaker inside the opening ten minutes offered Chelsea a dream start on their trip to Crystal Palace.
The game ended 4-1 to the Blues, with Christian Pulisic bagging a brace either side of Kurt Zouma’s header and Christian Benteke’s consolation for the home side.
Havertz could have actually notched the second hat-trick of his Chelsea career, the first coming in the 6-0 FA Cup route over Barnsley, such was the number of chances that fell his way.
Though he curled his first effort beyond Palace keeper Vicente Guaita, he failed to beat the Spaniard in the net for the rest of the afternoon, having a number of his efforts saved.
This spirited performance from the £79m man was not enough to evade the scrutiny of Sky Sports Pundit and Liverpool legend Graeme Souness.
After the game, Souness conceded he still had some reservations around Havertz and his start to life in England.
He said: “I think all the Chelsea supporters were expecting really big things from him. I know he’s only a boy and I know it takes some players time to adjust to the intensity of our game, but I think overall, Frank before was trying him in different positions to try and get that spark out of him.
“We’ll have to wait until next year to see if he is what we all hope he is going to be – a star player. He’s a young boy, technically very gifted, but sometimes the intensity of our game catches him out so we’ll have to wait and see if he’ll become the player Chelsea thought he would be.
He added: They paid big money for him. You say it’s a strange time (to move during Covid), but it’s a game of football. Training is still the same, I think overall, he’ll look back at his first year at Chelsea and it’s been so far, if they end up winning the European Cup and end up in the top four, then he’d be part of a very successful Chelsea team, but that’s for the end of the season.
“Right now, there’s reservations.”