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How many goals will false 9 Kai Havertz score for Chelsea next season?

Rewind a few weeks and 2020/21 was something of a write-off for Kai Havertz (£2.5m).

After an initial burst at the very start of the season – including a hat-trick in the Carabao Cup against Barnsley – he struggled to consistently impact Premier League games under Frank Lampard.

Most were reluctant to criticise him too harshly as it’s common for players to take some time to adapt before taking English football by storm – the transition from one league (and environment) to another is even tougher when you’re just 21 years old.

However, the German didn’t have to wait until the end of the season for a reset as Thomas Tuchel’s arrival signalled a change of role.

Since the change in management at Stamford Bridge, Havertz has often been deployed as a centre-forward in what modern fans would call a ‘false nine’ position.

He was tasked with a similar job at Bayer Leverkusen at times and responded well, just as he does done for the Blues in recent weeks.


Coming good

Coming good

Championship-bound Fulham may not be the most testing opposition but Havertz scored twice as Chelsea cemented their position in the top four with a 2-0 win in the west London derby.

Timo Werner (£3.2m) provided an inch-perfect pass for the second goal and he may have looked at both his compatriot’s finishes with a degree of envy.

While Havertz may not have provided an excess of evidence of the generational talent many believe he possesses, we have now seen enough composed finishes to understand why he is so highly rated in Germany.

A brace against Scott Parker’s side moved him onto eight goals in all competitions for 2020/21 – drawing him level with Mason Mount (£3.5m).

It’s certainly not inconceivable that Havertz will end the season with 10+ goals, which would be a solid foundation on which to build.

If he can replicate his performances against Fulham and Crystal Palace with more regularity next season – and if he continues as a false nine – it will be interesting to see how many goals he will score.

Finding his true self as a false nine

Finding his true self as a false nine

Of course, not all players are accurately measured by goals alone, the aforementioned Mount has contributed far more than his eight goals this campaign, for example.

But Havertz’s short career so far has been defined by his output – he scored 38 goals in his last two seasons with Leverkusen.

Unless this current run of form proves to be a false dawn, there’s no reason a settled Havertz shouldn’t be targeting 15+ goals in all competitions next season, especially with Tuchel in charge.

That’s not to say he can’t offer Dream Team gaffers values in the last month of this campaign.

An 18-point haul this weekend took him to 106 in total – more than James Rodriguez (£3.8m), Raphinha (£3.8m) or Wilfried Zaha (£3.1m) have managed.

And essentially, Havertz is currently a £2.5m midfielder who is actually playing up front – not too shabby.

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