Wayne Rooney backs struggling Chelsea star Kai Havertz to shine at World Cup
Posted by  badge Boss on Nov 19
Wayne Rooney is confident Kai Havertz will have a strong tournament for Germany (Picture: Getty)

has tipped Germany to cause a surprise at the and back forward to show his true potential.

Much was expected of the former Bayer Leverkusen star when he joined the Blues in what was then a club-record £72million transfer.

Havertz etched his name into Chelsea folklore with the winning goals in both the Champions League and Club World Cup finals but has shown his best form only sporadically and is yet to nail down a place in Graham Potter’s starting XI.

Rooney, however, believes Germany’s tactical system and the less frenetic nature of international football will provide Havertz with the opportunity to showcase his ability on the world stage.

Asked which of the European contenders he expects to provide the biggest challenge to Brazil and Argentina, Rooney told The Times: ‘Do not write off Germany. It was so interesting watching their Nations League game against England in September.

‘We got back into the game and should have won it but in the first half Germany absolutely dominated. Joshua Kimmich and Ilkay Gundogan were unbelievable.

‘I think Kai Havertz will have a good tournament. The control Germany have in games will be crucial. The tempo of games will not be as high as in the Premier League.

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz will start for Germany at the World Cup (Picture: Getty)

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‘This World Cup will be well-suited to teams, like Germany and Spain, that can keep possession.’

Defending champions France, meanwhile, will be without midfield stalwarts Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante but Rooney does not anticipate Les Bleus being unduly affected by their absences.

Rooney added: ‘Of course they will miss Pogba and Kante, but when there are injuries you get players who have been waiting for their chance.

‘The younger players, such as Aurélien Tchouameni, 22, and Eduardo Camavinga, 20, will bring that energy. We saw it in the Euros with Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips for England. Before the tournament, I don’t think many would have picked those two as the midfield pairing but they provided the stability.

‘I don’t think France will be weakened by the injuries. In the attacking areas they have Karim Benzema back and Kylian Mbappe. Defensively they are solid. They will be strong.’

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