football

Frank Lampard says Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were ‘shocked’ by Premier League intensity after joining Chelsea


Frank Lampard has discussed his former Chelsea signings (Picture: Sky Sports)

Ex-Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says his former signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were ‘shocked’ by the intensity of the Premier League following their moves to Stamford Bridge.

The German duo both secured moves to England in the summer of 2020, with Werner joining in a £47.5m move from RB Leipzig and Havertz completing a £71m switch from Bayer Leverkusen.

Both Werner and Havertz have endured mixed spells in west London to date, with Werner often criticised for his wayward finishing and Havertz somewhat flattering to deceive, despite scoring the winner in last season’s Champions League final.

Lampard believes early struggles for foreign players is almost to be expected, however, and admits the intensity of the Premier League and Chelsea’s training sessions surprised Werner and Havertz.

‘Timo was a big [signing] because Liverpool wanted him, Man United were in for him,’ Lampard, who was sacked by Chelsea at the start of the year, said on The Overlap.

‘We knew there were three or four big clubs [trying to sign him] so when I spoke to Timo I knew I had to be on my game to try and get him to come.

‘With Timo and Kai, there was clearly going to be adaptation issues. I know that from being in it because they were shocked at the speed of training, they were shocked by the physical demands of the game.

Kai Havertz and Timo Werner both joined Chelsea in the summer of 2020 (Picture: Getty)

‘I remember Eden Hazard’s first year at Chelsea, he went on to be one of Chelsea’s best-ever players, but you looked at him in pre-season strolling around.

‘Pretty much any player goes through those periods. Timo and Kai had that in the early days, Kai had terrible Covid as well which set him back quite a lot.’

In a wide-ranging interview with former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville, Lampard also opened up on his sacking from Chelsea.

The Blues impressed in Lampard’s first season in charge but the team were just ninth in the Premier League when the club decided to change managers, with his replacement Thomas Tuchel firing Chelsea to Champions League glory and to the top of the table.

Lampard recalled: ‘Well, we’d beaten Luton in the FA Cup fourth round or whatever it was. Then the next morning I got a message from Bruce Buck, the chairman, saying: “Can you move training and come and meet us in the boardroom?” I knew straight away.

Lampard spent 18 months in the Stamford Bridge hot-seat (Picture: Getty)

‘As I say, there is no nice way to do that and there may be different ways of etiquette to do it, but at the end of the day, the result is the same.

‘When I met Bruce and Marina [Granovskaia] it was very cordial. I knew what was coming then as well. Not at the time but you’re thankful for the period.

‘It is what it is. They are going to move on and there’s nothing you can do there. I’ve never been in that position before, so it was a bit surreal at the time, but when you take the job, you understand that that call could come.

‘At Chelsea, it probably will come unless you go and win back-to-back titles and that was never going to happen.’

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