Thomas Tuchel is taking his press conference ahead of Chelsea’s game against Norwich tomorrow, and he had bad injury news.
Attackers Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic are all out, meaning other players will have to be drafted in up top.
Kai Havertz played as a striker last season, and also against Malmo on Wednesday after his teammates went off. Tuchel was asked whether he would reprise that role in the games to come – and he rejected the idea that Havertz was a “false” 9.
Tuchel on Havertz: "He is not a false 9 because he is very strong in behind the last line. When he plays as a 9, we want this from him and he did it against Malmo." #CFC
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) October 22, 2021
Tuchel pointed out that Havertz has the qualities and abilities to play as a striker, and that the team used him as one when he’s on the pitch.
The coach has a point, of course. Just because Havertz is used to playing as a midfielder, doesn’t mean that he’s not a true striker when asked to play there. Yes he drifts wide and between the lines – but so do most of the world’s best number 9s.