Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic is backing Kai Havertz and Timo Werner to become “the future” of the club as the end of their maiden season in England approaches.
Havertz and Werner arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer as part of a remarkable summer transfer window that saw the Blues, who face Leicester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday, draft in seven new additions.
Werner arrived in mid-June for a fee of around £50million, while Havertz arrived in west London just a week ahead of the Premier League campaign getting underway in an initial £72million deal from Bayer Leverkusen.
Both players’ arrivals in west London were met with a wave of excitement after they had both shone brightly in the Bundesliga during the 2019/20 campaign.
In truth, though, both players have struggled to have the impact that they would have hoped for, with their performances, for the most part this season, not having lived up to their respective price tags.
Nevertheless, following Thomas Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge towards the end of January, the duo have shown signs of improvement, especially Havertz, who has scored three goals in his last eight matches.
Although they both still have a lot to prove, Kovacic is confident that they can both kick-on next season and become stars at Stamford Bridge for years to come.
Kovacic told Chelsea TV: “Obviously the two German guys came in, Kai [Havertz] and Timo [Werner], so I could help them, because it is not easy to come to such a big club in such a tough league.
“I think they adapted quite well and are now playing better and better. They are the future of this club, especially Kai, because, for me, he is an unbelievable talent and I think he will be a great, great player for Chelsea and for football in general.”
Chelsea fans will share that hope, although the duo still have a lot of work to do, particularly Werner, who needs to start finding a rhythm of consistency after scoring just 12 times in all competitions this season.
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However, Tuchel, despite being keen on adding a new striker to his ranks this summer, does appear to be finding a way to get a tune out of the former RB Leipzig striker, as he has scored two goals and claimed two assists in his last five appearances in both the Premier League and UEFA Champions League combined.
Kovacic, meanwhile, is poised to return to the Chelsea side for the FA Cup final against Leicester after missing the nine games through injury.
Issuing an update on the Croatian during his pre-match press conference on Friday lunchtime, Tuchel said: “It’s big news for us that Kova is back because he has a big impact on the dressing room around big matches.
“He’s a very positive guy so it’s good news.”