Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has explained his reliance on Kai Havertz over Romelu Lukaku in a detailed statement on the unique qualities Havertz offers the team.
Havertz has started four of the London club’s past five matches while Lukaku has received just two nods over that timeframe.
On Saturday afternoon, Havertz scored two goals in a 4-0 victory over Burnley, but Lukaku did not even appear in the game.
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“Of course [it’s hard to leave out Havertz],” Tuchel said to reporters. “He gives a lot of intensity and he’s involved in goals. He scored again, so it’s a very good moment and it’s on him to keep going. This is how it is.
“We played the last cup match without him, Timo Werner was very strong and was very close to starting. Romelu got his goal and we will need everybody. But at this moment, [Havertz is] in really good shape.
“What he gives us is huge volume. He covers a lot of metres, he covers a lot of metres in high intensity, so he finds the intensity no matter what the system the opponent defends against us, he finds intensive runs, he finds distances.
“This is what makes him and he uses his body more and more. “He loves to create overloads and half spaces and this is what he gives. It’s just his style of play, his characteristic as a player. He’s in good shape, he’s confident.”
Tuchel currently has many attacking options at his disposal, but most of them have run hot-and-cold over his tenure.
There was a time when Havertz struggled badly to consistently get into the starting line-up, though for now, that’s no longer the case.
Lukaku, meanwhile, has taken a back seat after a difficult start to the season that featured more controversy than production, and he must now prove to Tuchel that he belongs as a first-choice striker.