He only played 45 minutes but Kai Havertz looks like he already means business for Chelsea heading into the 2021/22 Premier League season.
The German superstar was given his first pre-season minutes of the summer during the Blues 2-1 win over Arsenal in the first match of The Mind Series on Sunday afternoon and he lit up the Emirates in the first half.
The last goal Havertz scored in club colours was the winner against Manchester City in the Champions League final back in May, the strike that secured a second European crown for Chelsea.
Having stood out in a poor Germany side that were beaten by England in the Euros, his next goal in club colours was to lash home into the roof of the net to hand his club the lead in their friendly against Arsenal at the Emirates.
Chelsea would go on to win the game 2-1 thanks to Tammy Abraham’s second half winner after Granit Xhaka had hauled the Gunners level as Tuchel’s side won their penultimate friendly of the summer in what was a very entertaining game.
Ben White, who completed his £50million switch from Brighton to Arsenal a couple of days ago, gout a taste of what was to come as he had to bail out some comical defending from his teammates but not even he could help Hector Bellerin’s woeful pass straight to Abraham, who did the rest.
But it was Havertz who really shone in the first half, playing just off compatriot Timo Werner in the number ten role as Tuchel stuck with what has worked so well for him since arriving at Chelsea back in January.
Arsenal’s centre backs in the first half, which didn’t include White, couldn’t get to grips with the 21-year-old as he ghosted in between the lines of midfield and the Arsenal 18-yard box.
Just five minutes before he put the visitors in front, Havertz had made another dart in behind a very static Gunners defence, that was playing an interesting high line considering the pace of Werner and Havertz, but the former RB Leipzig man didn’t get his head up quickly enough to find his teammate who probably would have scored.
Chelsea are continuing to be heavily linked with Erling Haaland but, in reality, nothing has really progressed any further than an expression of interest despite all the reports giving deadlines that a decision will be made by, which keep miraculously increasing as they are continually missed.
The Blues do still need that world class frontman if they are to be truly classed as Premier League title favourites. Are they contenders? For sure. A player like Haaland, Romelu Lukaku or a Harry Kane will truly put them in the conversation.
But it was Havertz who sent us a timely reminder – not that we needed it – that perhaps he can be the man that could fire Chelsea to Premier League glory this season.
The German’s first season at the club after his big-money move from Bayer Leverkusen was very up and down. A slow start, getting struck down by coronavirus in November, before playing a huge role towards the end of the season in securing a top four spot.
Then there was the Champions League final strike to add to it where he truly came of age. Havertz was asked after that final if he had lived up to his price tag to which he replied “I don’t give a f**k, we won the Champions League!” in a moment of hilarity.
He might have only got 45 minutes in the bank on Sunday afternoon but it served us all a very timely reminder that it could be him, and not a new recruit, who could push the Blues to the Premier League title.