The Germany international promises immediate improvement against Liverpool on Sunday
It will take Kai Havertz a number of weeks to adapt to living in England, getting used to a new language and culture, but the 21-year-old says that the £72million Chelsea paid to sign him from Bayer Leverkusen will not add any extra pressure to perform.
The Germany international did not quite have a dream debut in Monday night’s 3-1 win away to Brighton & Hove Albion, starting on the right of a four-man attack, but he had only four training sessions with Frank Lampard’s full squad owing to international duty and is promising an immediate improvement against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
Whether he starts on the right for the visit of the champions to Stamford Bridge remains to be seen but the 21-year-old set the record straight in his first press conference when it comes to his favourite position.
“I played, I think, every offensive position at Leverkusen,” he said. “I played as a right winger, a No10, a No6, No8 – sometimes as a striker as well. But for me it is very important to have that flexibility on the pitch and to be creative, those are the things that I like.
“I think I can play many positions but of course for me my best position is as a No10. I can play on the right side as well or as a striker. To be honest I am happy to stay on the pitch and I think I am flexible.”
That flexibility will be utilised as the campaign progresses – including, one suspects, plenty of time at No10 – but for now the primary aim is for Havertz to feel settled in his new surroundings.
While he said that playing in the Premier League was a dream of his growing up, it will take a few weeks to become fully comfortable with a different style of play.
“I am just very happy to be here now,” he said. “I think it took very long, but now I am here I am very happy to be here and I think I have settled in very well.
“Of course, Chelsea is a very big club and I know this already. For me it is a big step to come to another country, culture and language. It is very different than before and that takes some weeks to adapt to, but I am looking forward to it.
“For me it’s a perfect step to come from Leverkusen to the Premier League.
“It is another way here to play football. I watched it a lot and for me it was always the best league in the world with the best teams. I’m now very happy to be playing for one of the best teams in England, the world as well.
“I’m actually very thankful but obviously I need a little time to adapt to the league. It’s very different to Germany but I’m looking forward to it and I think on Sunday [against Liverpool] it will be the first improvement for me.”
As for the £72million price tag, Havertz insists that it will not change how he approaches games.
“Of course it’s a big price tag but I think in football today it is normal to pay these prices. For me I will not put a lot of pressure on myself because I think I am doing not the best or the worst because the price tag is that high.
“I am trying to focus on football and trying to play my best football here in Chelsea and not put pressure on myself. I’m just playing football, I love to play football. That’s why I’m here. I’ll try my best.”