Chelsea forward rҽvҽals he’s happy playing in new role in Graham Potter’s 3-4-3

March 14, 2023

Chelsea forward Kai Havertz said he enjoyed playing in a deeper position in Graham Potter’s 3-4-3 formation in the last few games.

On paper, the 23-year-old played number nine in the last three games, with Joao Felix, Raheem Sterling, or Mykhailo Mudryk lining up wide behind him.

Yet, on the field, Havertz was actually outperformed by Sterling and Mudryk.

This makes sense because Havertz and Felix are accustomed to playing the number 10 position, while Mudryk and Sterling also possess the speed to get in behind opponents.

As a result, Havertz participates more in the build-up phase, allowing him to utilize his strengths as a midfielder by nature. The Germany international told Chelsea’s official website, “I like this position, it is rather a free role and I’m allowed to come deeper.

Having such alternatives is fantastic because I also enjoy playing as a number nine.

It’s pretty fluid with the system we are using right now.

“That means I can be free, especially offensively, and I can find areas to play from.”

Yet, there are always two sides to every coin.

While the formation adjustment would be welcomed by players like Havertz, Felix, and Mason Mount who excel in these number 10 positions, it could be terrible news for the team’s natural wingers.

Raheem Sterling is perhaps an exception because he has already claimed he likes to play as a winger, despite having played as a false nine for Manchester City and under Thomas Tuchel.

The new configuration could present difficulties for Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Noni Madueke.

In terms of competitiveness for attacking positions, the aforementioned attacking midfielders have the advantage.