Paul Merson compares struggling Chelsea star Kai Havertz to Arsenal exile Mesut Ozil

Kai Havertz has made a slow start to his Chelsea career following his move from Bayer Leverkusen
Kai Havertz has made a slow start to his Chelsea career following his move from Bayer Leverkusen (Picture: Getty)

Paul Merson has accused Kai Havertz of looking disinterested during Chelsea’s recent matches and fears Frank Lampard could have a Mesut Ozil style conundrum on his hands.

The Germany international was the most expensive of Chelsea’s six summer recruits, setting the club back £72million when he joined from Bayer Leverkusen.

Havertz has shown only flashes of the ability which persuaded Lampard to make the 21-year-old the club’s record signing and has failed to nail down a settled role in his manager’s strongest XI.

The gifted playmaker’s adaptation was hindered by the bout of coronavirus he suffered last month, but Merson fears his body language is doing him no favours at the moment and, just like Ozil, doesn’t look bothered in the defensive side of the game.

‘Kai Havertz looks like Mesut Ozil at the moment,’ he told the Daily Star. ‘A major talent, but when he loses the ball, he doesn’t try to win it back.

Kai Havertz's body language reminds him of Mesut Ozil
Kai Havertz’s body language reminds him of Mesut Ozil (Picture: Getty)

‘Ozil used to get major stick because he didn’t always seem interested. But Havertz looks like that sometimes now as well. He looks like he’s out of his depth or doesn’t really want to be here. But you have to remember this is a young player who’s come to a different country.’

Of most concern, in Merson’s eyes, is the fact that Chelsea looked better without Havertz in the side. Defeat at Wolves in midweek saw Lampard’s side condemned to a second successive reversal and Havertz would benefit from a spell on the bench, according to the former Arsenal star.

He added: ‘I think he’s struggling at the moment and he needs to come off the bench for a few games against tiring teams, get his confidence back.

‘He’s had a difficult time here and when he was ill with Covid, Chelsea actually looked better without him. I don’t know why Frank Lampard threw him right back into the team because his confidence looks shot.

‘If you spend the amount of money they did on him, you want more than a utility player, so I’m surprised he’s played so many positions. For me he’s a number ten and would work best slipping balls through for Timo Werner, who looks lost on the wing. He will come good in time.’

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