With a Premier League clash away at Everton awaiting Chelsea this evening, one player is keen to showcase his talents after returning to action strongly in recent weeks following a spell on the sidelines.
Kai Havertz has started the last three games for Chelsea, the only player to do so, a sure sign he is now in good condition following contracting coronavirus, but the midfielder has spoken about how much the illness took out of him and that he now appreciates how serious the condition can be.
The 21-year-old was interviewed on the BBC’s Football Focus on Saturday afternoon and his move to Chelsea ahead of the season and the interruption to his start here were subjects of conversation. Havertz was diagnosed with Covid-19 at the start of November and period of self-isolation followed.
‘To be honest, it was very hard for me personally because I was having to stay for 10 days just in my bed and everything was hurting,’ he admitted.
‘It was like a very bad ‘flu for me and so now I know it is very bad for people. Before, sometimes, I thought okay, it is not so bad but now I get it and I know, for example, for people who are older and people who had some illness before it can be very bad, so we all have to look out for each other.
‘It hurt me in that time very much and I am a young human and for me it is not so bad, but when other people have it, now I know it can be very bad.’
Havertz also discussed what it was like returning to training, following his period of self-isolation and how patience was required as he fought his way back to full match fitness.
‘It is very difficult when you do nothing for two weeks and then you start training again,’ added the German.
‘You feel like you have never played football before and it took two or three weeks to get back to 100 per cent. Now I have played games from the start and I am feeling very good but of course it takes a lot of time. Now I think I am very fit again and I can start to attack again.’
Moving to a new club and a new country for the first time at the height of a pandemic does mark Havertz’s transfer out as different from most, but he feels comfortable with the transition.
‘For me and for the whole family, because they are very close to me, it was a very big step but I am very happy to be here now, and of course in such a pandemic there are more important things than to make a transfer to another country. For me I think it was the right decision to make the move and now I am very happy here.’
In the full Football Focus interview, he also talks about Timo Werner, the title race and his fondness for his favourite animals, donkeys, plus he is asked about Frank Lampard’s belief he can progress to be one of the outstanding players in the whole world.
‘Of course I feel very honoured because I know that he [Lampard] was a very big legend in this club and to hear that from such a legend is very good,’ Havertz responded.
‘He is my coach and he wants to make me better and I think I can learn a lot from him. I am very honoured to hear that but I know I have a lot of room to improve and I have to do it in the next weeks.
‘My start here was not my best. It was very tough for me to change the club and the country and everything but now I am feeling better and better and I hope the next months and years are going to be good for me.’