Thomas Tuchel could be a “turning point” for Kai Havertz at Chelsea, says Tayfun Korkut, with a German coach being backed to bring the best out of a fellow countryman who has struggled to find any kind of spark in English football.
A £72 million ($95m) deal took a promising playmaker to Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window of 2020.
Such sizeable investment was always going to place added pressure on young shoulders, with 21-year-old Havertz struggling under the weight of expectation.
Injuries and a bout of coronavirus have done his cause few favours, but more was expected from one of the hottest prospects in European football.
Frank Lampard’s inability to get Havertz and Co. firing contributed to his demise, with another change in the dugout being made by Premier League heavyweights, but Tuchel could be the man to unlock potential in those who have been big-money flops.
Former Bayer Leverkusen coach Korkut expects that to be the case, telling Sky Sports of a player that scored a first senior goal under his tutelage at the age of 17: “Thomas should be good for him because of the style of play but also because of the language.
“We can talk a lot about tactics but the human being is more than the tactics. Thomas can help him because he knows him very well and will know how to handle him.
“He has worked at PSG and Dortmund with players of a similar style. If you remember Lampard as a player, he was quite different to Kai. He was more emotional and maybe he felt that was missing in Kai. Sometimes the coach has to adapt to the player as well.
“But I think Thomas can help him. Maybe this is the turning point.”
Havertz is not the only German star that is yet to shine at Chelsea, with Timo Werner also in danger of fizzling out after making a bright start to his time in west London.
Korkut, who worked with the 24-year-old frontman at Stuttgart, believes both men will come good in time as long as they are handled correctly.
He added: “Timo just needs goals.
“He has never been a player to create something for himself. He needs players who can play him the ball. He can only do it with space and players to give him the right pass at the right moment. But when Timo does start to score, I am certain he will be fine.
“Kai is different. Kai needs more, even if he seems really cool. The position is not the major issue with Kai because he can play on the right or in the middle.
“The more important thing is that he needs someone to support him in this moment when he is struggling. People are expecting big things and it is not so easy. He needs confidence.”
A new era for Chelsea under Tuchel started with a 0-0 draw against Wolves and will continue on Sunday when the Blues play host to Burnley.