Kai Havertz scored his fifth goal of the season against Bournemouth (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Joe Cole says Kai Havertz can and should take charge of Chelsea after his “excellent” performance against Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

The Blues beat the Cherries 2–0 at Stamford Bridge, with Havertz scoring from a Raheem Sterling cross before setting up Mason Mount for the second goal.

The German striker has struggled with consistency since moving to west London in 2020 for a then-record fee of £72 million.

The 23-year-old scored just 28 goals and provided 15 assists in 113 appearances for Chelsea, but showed his quality against Bournemouth after being chosen as striker for Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.

It was a decision that has paid off for Graham Potter and one that Cole hopes the manager will stick to in the future. The former Chelsea attacking midfielder told Amazon Prime: “Kai Havertz is a really good guy.

“He was excellent tonight, a good goal and an assist. I think he is the way forward for Chelsea.

“We want him to get meaner, we want him to do what he did today. Break your neck to get into those positions to score like he did tonight.

Next month will be a very important month for Chelsea, who have remained eighth in the table, but are now just six points clear of the Champions League places and have one game to go against fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

Havertz will play back-to-back games against Manchester City in the Premier League and FA Cup, as well as a trip to Liverpool in January. Havertz needs to stay on top form if Potter’s squad is to get off to a good start in 2023.

“Hopefully the win and the goals will give us some confidence,” the attacker said after the game.

“This is an important win. We have to keep winning. We need the points. We will do our best in the next games.

‘He [Potter] gives me the freedom to do what I feel comfortable with on the pitch. I like playing freely and being in the box. He gives me a lot of confidence.

“I know the vision that Raheem has. He likes to play with these balls. It was a perfect ball and I was happy to score.’