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Tuchel swerves credit for Chelsea goal-getter’s resurgence in reminder to Lukaku

Thomas Tuchel has praised Kai Havertz for the way in which he has stepped up for Chelsea, reminding Romelu Lukaku that it doesn’t mean his chances will be down either.

Havertz was a big-money signing for Chelsea in the summer of 2020. Like many of their recruits that year, it took him some time to get going. But bigger things began to materialise for the German when he scored the winning goal in last season’s Champions League final.

It was the catalyst for a better sophomore season at Stamford Bridge. The attacking midfielder went on to score the winner at the Club World Cup final too. It is one of nine goals he has to his name this season.

Hence, Havertz has already matched his entire tally from his debut year with Chelsea. He got there with a brace against Burnley in his most recent appearance.

Having scored five times since the turn of the year, the 22-year-old will be eager to continue his current form. Although some could point the praise in Tuchel’s direction for getting the best out of him, the Chelsea coach insists the credit is all Havertz’s.

He said at a press conference: “I don’t take pride. It’s on him. He stepped up.

“The players take care of themselves and if they are on the pitch, it’s on them to stay on the pitch.

“He was a little down, had struggles to fight for it and how to fight for it. But it is more or less a daily thing and he changed his attitude, used his physique and changed his body and he is in good shape for a long time.”

Havertz has predominantly featured as a centre-forward this season. He has still made many appearances in his more natural attacking midfield position.

By being deployed further forward, he has accounted for the lack of productivity for record signing Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has not been as efficient in front of goal since re-joining the club from Inter Milan in the summer.

‘Always a chance’ for Lukaku

Much has been made of Lukaku’s struggles, but Tuchel insists all is not lost – and that Havertz’s form up front does not necessarily discount the ex-Manchester United man from getting gametime.

Tuchel said: “It’s not easy at the moment for him but he is a member of the…

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