Graham Potter confirms new Chelsea penalty taker after Champions League shootout practice
Graham Potter has named Kai Havertz as Chelsea’s new penalty taker as they prepare for every eventuality ahead of facing Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
The Blues allowed regular penalty taker and vice captain Jorginho to leave for Arsenal in a £12million January sale with his contract having fewer than six months to run.
Having scored in the Club World Cup final for Chelsea last season, Germany international Havertz has been handed the role of Chelsea’s first-choice penalty taker.
Speaking before Tuesday’s Champions League match against Dortmund, Potter revealed his selection after their practice sessions.
He said: “The players are always practising penalties. We are prepared for the eventuality and possibility [of a penalty shootout]. We want to win it before that but if not then we will be prepared to go through in that way.
“Kai [Havertz] is our penalty taker in the absence of Jorginho.”
Chelsea need to overcome a 1-0 first leg defeat after Karim Adeyemi’s strike three weeks ago earned the German giants a win against the run of play.
Edin Terzic’s side have won their last 10 games but Chelsea are boosted by the possible inclusion of Reece James and confirmed return of Christian Pulisic.
“Reece we’ll make a decision on tomorrow,” confirmed Potter. “Christian is in the squad. He’s training well and looking good.”
Mason Mount is both suspended and injured while Cesar Azpilicueta, Edouard Mendy and Armando Broja are all out.
N’Golo Kante trained with the group again on Monday but will not be risked having been out for over six months.
“It’s too soon for N’Golo,” added Potter. “He’s had two full training sessions, so too soon, but he’s looking good. We’re going to continue with that progress.
“It’s a complex one with him. He’s had a long time out. He’s back in full training but then it’s how you get him back up to speed to play Champions League and Premier League football.
“That’s where he needs a bit of time with the group in full training, and then we need to build his minutes up. He won’t be able to go straight in for 90 minutes any time soon, but the fact he’s training and getting closer is exciting for everybody.”