Bayer Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz has claimed Hakim Ziyech is to blame for Kai Havertz’s poor form for the Blues.
The German youngster joined Chelsea in a £72m deal in the summer in one of the most high profile moves of the transfer window.
He has struggled to find his best form under Frank Lampard, though, with questions about his best position a regular occurrence.
While his numbers made for solid reading, five goals and six assists in 22 games, they are a far cry from the tallies he was posting at Leverkusen last season.
It was that form, 18 goals and nine assists in 45 games, that led to his big money move to Stamford Bridge and most of Europe being keen on him before that.
It was under Bosz that he really flourished, with 29 goals and ten assists in 64 games under his leadership, and the Dutch coach believes it is another Chelsea player that is making things difficult for his protégé.
“Havertz’s greatest quality lies in the opponent’s box,” he told Voetbal International.
“There he has to come to score goals. At Chelsea, he now also plays further back, because Hakim Ziyech pushes him away.
“Then Havertz does not get enough into the penalty area.
“We played an attacking 3-4-3 with two 10s and a square in midfield. Against the ball, I let Havertz swerve to the right.
“Against the ball is not his greatest quality, but opponents did not dare to let him stand.
“If his direct opponent comes up, their central defender will be in a one-on-one with Havertz if he loses the ball.
“These are often not the fastest players. So the up-and-coming back is automatically called off.”