Kai Havertz admits to finding the early weeks of his time at Chelsea “very difficult”, but the German playmaker is building more confidence on the back of a Carabao Cup hat-trick.
Big things were expected of the 21-year-old when he completed a £70 million ($91m) move to Stamford Bridge from Bayer Leverkusen.
As one of the hottest prospects in world football, Havertz was tipped to thrive in English football.
He was, however, to find the going tough when thrown in at the Premier League deep end.
Little impact was made on debut against Brighton, before then being removed at half-time in a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool as Frank Lampard had to sacrifice an attacking option after Andreas Christensen’s dismissal.
Havertz was always going to need patience, though, and Chelsea thrust him straight back into action against Barnsley on Wednesday.
Their faith was rewarded with three goals in a thumping 6-0 win, with a fresh face in west London feeling that he is starting to find his feet.
Havertz told Chelsea TV after walking away with a match ball against the Tykes:
“I think the first two matches were very difficult for me because I didn’t have the pre-season – I only trained one week with the team – but I think that step by step I will be fitter and this match was very good for me, to get more confidence.
“I hope to continue on Saturday like that.”
Asked whether his exploits will be making headlines back in his homeland, Havertz added:
“I hope so.
“It’s a very big thing for me personally. Of course, the most important thing is that we won.
“I’m very happy about the hat-trick as well but on Saturday we have our next game and we need to focus on that.”