Tim Sherwood has labelled Kai Havertz a ‘liability’ and claims Chelsea are ‘carrying’ the Germany international.
Much was expected of Havertz after he arrived at the club from Bayer Leverkusen, where he scored 46 goals in 150 games and became the youngest player to reach 100 Bundesliga appearances.
But the 21-year-old has been underwhelmed in the Premier League, scoring just one goal in 18 matches and failing to cement a spot in Chelsea’s starting lineup.
Havertz started Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge of the club – a 0-0 draw with Wolves last week – but was dropped to the bench for the 2-0 win over Burnley.
Former Premier League manager Sherwood does not believe Tuchel should be playing Havertz at the moment and described the midfielder as a ‘liability’.
Sherwood told Premier League productions: ‘It’s difficult to judge Tuchel after two games. The first game against Wolves was boring, even though they had a lot of possession.
‘They were better against Burnley and two of the wing-backs scored so he’s throwing them forward. ‘I still think he’s got selection problems. I think he was brought in to get the best out of the German boys, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
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‘But at the moment you can’t play Kai Havertz. In my opinion, he’s a liability. He might be a good player in the future but at the moment they’re just carrying him.
‘I wouldn’t play Havertz but I think he might be under a little bit of pressure to play Havertz and to find a position for Timo Werner.’
Discussing Havertz’s struggles last week, Tuchel said: ‘What I feel from him is a very friendly, intelligent and open guy, with a lot of potential and we will push him.
‘He seems to be like the guy that needs to be pushed, we will not stop it. For him, this league is perfect because he cannot rest. ‘He has so much potential that he has to be challenged physically also, it is not enough that he can rely on his endless talent.
‘In the end, the question is does he have this, can he show his teeth in the end when it gets tough and I was very happy on Wednesday, it was him that did almost the decisive header in the box against all the towers from Wolverhampton.
‘It would have been a nice goal but he did not hesitate and that is what I want to see from him, the rest will come because Kai can be a huge, huge part of this club.’