Frank Lampard believes Wednesday was the first of many great nights for Kai Havertz at Chelsea, after the summer signing provided a standout performance in the Carabao Cup.
Chelsea comfortably cruised past Barnsley at Stamford Bridge, with Havertz getting a hat-trick in the 6-0 victory over the Championship club.
Havertz was joined on the scoresheet by Abraham, Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud as Chelsea were red hot in a match that saw Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva make their debuts.
Havertz’s goals were his first in the blues shirt, having struggled in his first two matches after the club completed his £70m move from Bayer Leverkusen.
Lampard conceded that he almost took Havertz off just before he completed his hat-trick, although the Chelsea coach says he is glad he didn’t.
“Perfect game for Kai today because he came here without hardly any training,” Frank Lampard told his post-match press conference. “We had to throw him in because we had injuries in attacking areas.
“Tonight was a great progression, for him to play this game. His work rate, he helps Ross Barkley score his goal, his tackle in midfield in a high area and he gets his three goals in good quality. There’s only going to be more of that.
“I predicted it. I wanted to protect him at that point. The idea with Kai tonight was to give him a training session. To not disrespect the game, but for him personally, to see how we play, to work with his teammates, get on the pitch, see how we want to press, be part of that.
“When we have the ball, there’s much more of an element of freedom for a player of his quality. He did everything we wanted from him tonight.”
He added: “It was a great exercise for him, another game to see how we want to work off the ball, but also have freedom on the ball and combinations with Tammy [Abraham]. It’s the first of many great nights for him.”