Kai Havertz admits struggling with pressure of price tag at Chelsea

Kai Havertz admits struggling with pressure of price tag at Chelsea

Chelsea forward Kai Havertz has confessed he found it hard to deal with the pressure of his hefty price tag as he felt he was being seen as the next Cristiano Ronaldo.

A £72m signing from Bayer Leverkusen last summer, Havertz arrived at Chelsea as one of the most exciting players on the planet, but he endured a challenging debut season in England and ended with just nine goals and nine assists in 45 appearances, although one of those strikes just so happened to win the Champions League.

Speaking to Suddeutsche Zeitung, Havertz admitted he was slow to adjust to life in the Premier League and did not enjoy the extra eyes on him that came because of his enormous price tag.

“I felt a completely different pressure than before in Leverkusen,” he confessed. “People expect you to be the new Cristiano Ronaldo, but it can’t happen that quickly. Everything was new, and I really didn’t play my best football in the beginning.

“I had to find a happy medium. I don’t want to be dragged down or cheered up. I wasn’t the worst player in the world. and I’m not the best now.

“Now, I feel fully involved in Premier League football, but the most important thing is that my head has improved.”

Havertz was not the only expensive signing to struggle at Chelsea this year. Fellow German Timo Werner also endured a tricky debut year at Stamford Bridge, and Havertz confessed that the two often struggled to see the lighter side of things.

“Timo Werner and I sometimes teased each other about the headlines, but when you sit alone at home later on, it’s not that funny anymore,” he said.

“I’m glad that ended the season with a goal in the Champions League final. The goal was obviously important for the club, but it was also good for me personally. Winning the trophy gives me a lot of self-confidence.

Kai HavertzKai Havertz

Havertz’s goal won Chelsea the Champions League final / Manu Fernandez – Pool/Getty Images

“I’m an offensive player and offensive players have to score goals or provide assists. It’s the same for me. A game without a goal is a wasted game for me.

“[I always tell myself] ‘Today you will score a goal or an assist’. Especially during the phase when things weren’t going so well at Chelsea, I often said to myself ‘Today you will get an assist and then you will come slowly back into your rhythm’. I got along well with this tactic of small goals. It helped me to pull myself out of difficult phases.”

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