Chelsea spent an awful lot of money during the summer, and after a few games there were plenty of people wondering whether all of the club’s expensive new parts would come together.
At first, Frank Lampard’s side couldn’t defend, then there were a couple of matches in which they looked stale going forward. On the evidence of Saturday’s 3-0 win against Burnley, they may be getting the best of both worlds.
Hakim Ziyech* and Kai Havertz will be integral for Chelsea in an attacking sense, but both had their early-season struggles – Havertz had suffered from a slow start on the pitch, while Ziyech had to be patient in his return from injury.
However, now that they are finally on the pitch together, it seems as though these creative players have already built up a telepathic relationship, which should get Chelsea fans very excited.
Havertz and Ziyech will occupy the same space they said. They’ll step on each other’s toes they said. pic.twitter.com/4dbMme8gXg
— T’Chakin (@akinelubode) November 1, 2020
The move shown above starts with some pretty simple passes in Chelsea’s half, as Ziyech lays the ball off to Havertz with a first-time pass, before getting it back from the Germany international.
Tammy Abraham then gets it, before playing it across to Reece James, who then gives it to Ziyech. The key thing here is how Ziyech and Havertz both moved in tandem during this sequence.
While Ziyech was going to get the ball off James, Havertz had already made an intelligent movement so his team-mate was able to easily split two Burnley men with his pass, while also giving the German plenty of time on the ball.
Havertz was then able to slow the game down so that Ziyech could catch up with him and receive the ball. Both players showed great awareness so he could get it once again, as Ziyech dragged the ball back to make the pass possible, while Havertz had ghosted infield to get space away from Ashley Barnes.
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All of these intricate details came together perfectly, culminating in Havertz having space on the edge of Burnley’s box to pick out a team-mate.
In the end, he played the ball to Mason Mount, setting the academy graduate up for a shot from just outside the box, though he could only muster up a weak effort that was stopped by Nick Pope with relative ease.
Despite the lack of end product, there is so much to get excited about in this clip. The movement of both these players, as well as the understanding they have developed, is only likely to get even better.
This is only the start of their partnership, so it will be very intriguing to see how this develops further over time.
*Buy Hakim Ziyech and thousands of other players on Football Index. 18+, UK and Ireland customers only, begambleaware.org. T&Cs apply.