Thomas Tuchel has told Kai Havertz and Timo Werner that it “is time to step up” after the German duo’s sluggish start to life at Chelsea.
Werner and Havertz were two eye-catching transfers made by Chelsea last summer as the club embarked on a £220million spending spree, Werner and Havertz costing almost £120million between them.
Werner arrived from RB Leipzig with a fearsome reputation as one of Europe’s most lethal strikers but has been on a barren run recently, netting just once in his last 16 Premier League games.
Havertz meanwhile was always bought on potential at the age of 21 but was one of the standout stars in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen. He was struck down by covid in November which severely affected him and is still taking time to adapt to the demands of the Premier League.
A lot of focus was put on the duo thanks to their transfer fees, which is not their fault at all, and when Lamapard’s side were going through a run of five losses in eight games that cost the manager hIs job, Lampard’s inability to get the best out of the two recruits was cited as a factor.
Werner has improved under Tuchel since his fellow German arrived but Havertz has started just once, the very first game of his tenure against Wolves, suffering an injury that has ruled him out for the past four matches.
Both have travelled to Bucharest for the Champions League last 15 first leg tie with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday evening and both will be hoping they can kick start their campaigns with a decent showing against the La Liga leaders.
Some have suggested that Tuchel’s appointment was also brought on by him being German, along with the two players, that will help bring the best out of them.
Speaking to BT Sport ahead of the match in Romania on Tuesday evening, the Blues head coach said that while the duo have enormous potential, they now need to step up and show why Chelsea spent the big bucks on them.
“They have a lot of potential but OK, at the same time the club demands a lot of them, they spent a lot of money so it is time to step up,” Tuchel told BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand.
“First of all they made a brave decision to jump out of their comfort zone. Timo was the top guy in Leipzig, Kai was the top guy at Leverkusen, to go to the most demanding league in Europe and to a club like Chelsea where people demand results, expect titles if possible, it is a huge step.
“I talked to them and told them I liked the decision, stepping out of the comfort zone gives you energy and makes you brave.
“Maybe this is what you need to reach the next level, you might experience weeks and days and doubt it but this is the process of change but when you want to grow as a player and make footprints, this is a strong decision.
“I will try to help and push you when it is needed and to be at your side to support you when it’s needed. Maybe the first contact is easier as they are German and I am, we have known each other a long time but they are like every player, they need to trust and an honest approach, you might have to tell them the truth even if they don’t like it.”
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