Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is confident Kai Havertz could spearhead his side’s Champions League challenge as their central striker.
Havertz arrived at Stamford Bridge as an attacking midfielder when former manager Frank Lampard signed him from Bayer Leverkusen for £71million, including add-ons, last September.
But Tuchel, who made six changes for Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Leeds, played Havertz as his No 9 at Elland Road, with Timo Werner and Olivier Giroud on the bench, while Tammy Abraham is still injured.
‘It was pretty much the same role that he (Havertz) had against Everton,’ said Tuchel, who felt the Blues created enough chances to leave West Yorkshire with all three points.
‘I think that Kai feels very comfortable in high positions. I feel he is very comfortable to go to drop in to half-spaces from the high position, to turn and drive with the ball and use his speed.
‘But he also arrives very naturally in the box and the six-yard box, to finish our attacks.’
German international Havertz was denied by Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier’s smart reaction save early in the second half and failed to convert three other chances.
But Tuchel added: ‘He’s comfortable in finishing, he’s strong in finishing. He can clearly play as a No 9, he can play as a half-striker or as a winger.
‘These are his positions and today we used him as a number nine and I’m happy.
‘Unfortunately he could not finish like his finishes in training and like his talents allow him to finish because we had enough chances. It’s a position where he feels comfortable and I trust him in this position.’
Chelsea extended their unbeaten run under Tuchel, who replaced Lampard in January, to 12 matches in all competitions.
Their hard-earned point kept them in fourth place with nine league games remaining.