Havertz struggled in his first season at Chelsea, but the German star gave Lukaku advice after the Champions League winning goal changed everything
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When his first season went from being considered a “disaster” to making his name in the history books by scoring the winner in Champions League final.
Those are the small gaps between success and failure. That’s why Havertz sees the Carabao Cup final as another big opportunity but also how things can go quickly for any player, including teammate Romelu Lukaku.
Havertz, 22, who joins Chelsea in 2020 in a £71m deal, said: “That target changed everything around. If I didn’t score that goal, people would say it was a disaster of the first season for me.
“I won’t say that to myself because I know I was 20 or 21 when I came here, and at this age, it’s not easy to change things.
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“Overall, I am not happy beyond the goal in the Champions League. It can take a year, two or three years to adapt 100% to this league, to this club, to the new lifestyle and I think this goal has helped me a lot.
“I think if I didn’t score this goal, people would say: ‘He’s terrible.’ Two seconds in a year probably changed a whole year for me. The little things can turn the tide.”
Havertz is the player who threatened to keep Lukaku out of Wembley as Chelsea’s £97.5m record signing has struggled on form, goals and now he faces a battle to start his career.
But there was real warmth towards his teammate and friend from Havertz, rather than seeing Lukaku as a rival.
“I know this feeling,” says Havertz. It’s not easy when you go to a club with a £100m package and everyone wants you to perform from the first minute to the last in a game. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, but other than that we’re pretty bad on Rom.
“You can’t forget he scored in the Club World Cup semi-final and final, huge goals for us. So you can’t forget that.
“I am not the first person in that situation. There have been many Chelsea players before in that situation. Rom isn’t the first and he won’t be the last either. It takes some time.”
Havertz is also different from Lukaku in that he plays the wrong number nine role up front, which is something that suits the way he moves.
“I know what the word means, I know I’m not a real nine but I don’t consider myself a real nine either. [Man] Man City play without any real striker. It’s just another system in football that you have to adapt to.
“We can play both, with nine and no. It’s just a matter of sometimes the opponent and how the final matches could have played out.”
Havertz is a player for big occasions. He scored the winning goal in the Champions League final, the winner of the Club World Cup final and now he has a chance to succeed with Liverpool on Sunday.
“You know you have to enjoy these moments,” says Havertz. “After my career, I would sit there and you might think ‘why don’t I enjoy these moments more? As a kid, you watch these games and think ‘how do players feel? He’s so happy.
“We play football to achieve games like this, to play finals, I think everyone dreams of playing these games, these are the biggest games you can play as a player. a player and we have a good opponent, a strong opponent on Sunday.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-news-havertz-lukaku-advice-26332563 Kai Havertz tells Romelu Lukaku how to avoid Chelsea "catastrophe"