Chelsea ace Kai Havertz has given Thomas Tuchel something to ponder ahead of the second leg against Real Madrid next week in the Champions League. The German was in fine form as the Blues beat Fulham.
Chelsea boss Tuchel may have to rip up his team sheet against Real Madrid next week after a brilliant performance from Havertz.
The Germany international missed out against Los Blancos for the first leg in the Champions League at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium last week.
Instead, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount were given the nod alongside Timo Werner – and the plan was surely to start the trio again at Stamford Bridge for the return leg.
The match against Fulham on Saturday would have been an unwelcome occasion for Tuchel, who rotated heavily to avoid injuries to the likes of Jorginho, Pulisic and N’Golo Kante.
But what he would have witnessed must surely play a part in his thinking when he names his starting XI against Real Madrid after a fine performance from Havertz.
The former Bayer Leverkusen star only had two in the Premier League prior to the match but he doubled that tally by Saturday night with a brilliant brace.
The first came from a mesmeric touch from Mason Mount, who plucked the ball from the sky with extreme elegance before playing through his German team-mate.
And the second was similar, this time Havertz himself with the delicate touch before a languorous one-two with Werner, rolling the ball under Alphonse Areola.
It has been a tough first season for the 21-year-old, an outlook even he would agree with after arriving with such an expectation.
He joined from Leverkusen for a club-record £72.3m but Tuchel is starting to get the best out of the forward.
Playing in a false-nine position, Havertz is now the preferred choice over the more traditional strikers Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud.
The Aachen-born star has the frame of a target man but the technique of a player much more diminutive, and even an aura of Dimitar Berbatov with his silky, almost lazy, skill.
Against Real Madrid, Chelsea were crying out for a player to finish the many chances they created.
In the end, they settled for a 1-1 draw with a vital away goal – but there could be a sense of ‘what if?’ come Wednesday night if they fail to make it to the final.
Havertz has shown his composure in such situations can prove pivotal and he is showing the form of a man finally in confidence – now it is up to Tuchel to make the call.