Kai Havertz has outgrown his comparison to Bruno Fernandes, and the German’s turnaround must be used as a reference point by the new owners
‘Pick on someone your own size’ can be likened to Kai Havertz and Bruno Fernandes’ rivalry; the former, a friendly giant who flexes his muscles against the best versus the latter who only turns up against smaller foe.
The 22-year-old struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League, while the Manchester United midfielder’s quick start just a few months later instantly painted Havertz in a bad light.
However, despite the waves of misfortune, Havertz has defied the narrative that the 27-year-old is superior, quickly asserting himself as one of the world’s best ‘big game’ players.
It soon set a dangerous precedent that the pair had to take a leaf from each other’s book to improve, but the German international jumped the gun and blew Fernandes out of the water.
The Portuguese midfielder, in fairness, quickly earned his stripes as one of the Premier League’s leading midfielders upon his arrival in January, directly contributing towards 15 goals in his first 14 appearances.
Havertz, who had suffered various setbacks in the formative stages of his Chelsea tenure, failed to rake in the numbers that the Fernandes did.
But, the German soon showcased his sixth gear in big games, swinging the pendulum back in his favour – especially when his rival’s biggest moment in a United shirt was losing to Villarreal in the Europa League final.
Havertz, a world champion, has taken big games by the scruff of the neck on at least seven different occasions for Chelsea since swapping the BayArena for Stamford Bridge.
The Blues’ number twenty-nine has played pivotal roles in Thomas Tuchel lifting the Champions League, European Super Cup and Club World Cup.
Havertz has already exceeded the Portuguese midfielder’s legacy and, now having begun translating his big game displays across the span of a season, the youngster is approaching the home straight, and Kevin de Bruyne is in his sights.
While there’s a long time yet before the German can be compared to arguably one of the Premier League’s greatest midfielders, Havertz, with the help of Tuchel, has distanced himself from Fernandes.
Following Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell the west London club, Chelsea’s next owners must look at using Havertz as a reference point when making signings.
Patience and confidence have allowed the Blues boss to unlock a player that has now overtaken Fernandes – someone considered one of the Premier League’s best.
As Gary Barlow has said before, just have a little patience.