Jamie Redknapp has questioned the positioning of Kai Havertz at Chelsea.
The 21-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge from Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month on a deal that could rise to £71m – but he has endured a difficult opening two matches.
Frank Lampard’s side were unconvincing in their 3-1 win over Brighton last weekend, and slipped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Sunday with Havertz coming off at the break.
Redknapp has now issued his verdict on the Germany international, who scored 29 goals across the last two Bundesliga seasons.
While on Sky Sports, Redknapp said: ”It’s a question of time. He’s a young man that’s just come to the country.
“He had trained with the club for five days and was miles off it when he was thrown into the game against Brighton. He played half the game today and I don’t think it suited him as the striker.
“You’ve got to give the lad time. It’s hard but it’s hard enough for an English player moving to a new club in the Premier League let alone a foreigner.
“We’ve got to be very careful as we’re judging a player and already labelling where he’s going to play.”
Before adding that Havertz could be better suited closer to the midfield by saying: ”He’s a tremendous player and he’s got lots of talent. They’ve got to give it time. They’ve got [Christian] Pulisic and [Hakim] Ziyech to come in and he’s a No 10 who’s going to go head-to-head with Mason Mount.
“I think with the three midfielders they had in there today, they need a bit more craft. N’Golo Kante was the most progressive and looking to make things happen but that’s not his job.
“I look at Kante as the sort of player who will break it up and get it to players who can do that job. Surely we can’t be questioning him already as he’s been here for two minutes?”
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Despite the result, Lampard stated that he was pleased by his sides defensive effort by saying: “There were a lot of things I was happy about with our defensive game.
“I wanted us to be better on the ball. We showed moments on the counter-attack where we were dangerous, Timo [Werner] had a couple of good opportunities but to limit them to the chances they got in the first half, there were a lot of things I was pleased about.
“I’m disappointed to lose three points as you always will and should be but I’m actually happier today in many ways than I was at Brighton.”