Kai Havertz has had a difficult start to life at Stamford Bridge since his big-money move from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, but the German looked every bit the £72 million player Chelsea thought he was in Monday’s 2-0 win over in-form Everton.
Thomas Tuchel raised a few eyebrows with his team selection, leaving out Antonio Rudiger, N'Golo Kante and Mason Mount – Chelsea's best and most consistent player this season – while Havertz made a surprise start in a false nine position, and boy did he enjoy it.
The 21-year-old was undeniably the standout performer on the pitch, playing an influential role towards both goals scored by the Blues, reinventing himself as a false nine in Tuchel's new-found system.
Speaking to BT Sport post-match, Tuchel said: "Very pleased with Kai. It was the trust we gave him and used the trust we gave him. He is a player who has all the ability to be a dominant figure in the offense and he stepped up.
"You see the quality of the players and the club. It is a pleasure to be on the sideline and work with the team. Everybody in the club is doing everything to compete at this level."
During his post-match press conference, Tuchel added: "There is no doubt about his quality, talent and character.
"He needs to adapt to the Premier League, to the club where we play to win every game and the highest standards are normal. This is a normal process.
"He did excellent today. He used his potential to accelerate our game."
Havertz was a nuisance for Carlo Ancelotti's side, contributing significantly to the win which saw the west London giants cement their position in the top four and move within three points of Leicester City in third.
The German told Chelsea's 5th Stand app: "It is difficult to say [if it is my best performance for Chelsea] but the first few months were difficult for me. I hope that I will get a lot of confidence now and carry on like this.
"Of course, it wasn't easy to come here where everything was new. I have been here for seven months now though, so now it is time to perform.
"I know that in myself, I know many people have doubts about me. I just keep on going and working, trying to help my team in every training session and game. That's the most important. I hope this performance will give me a lot of confidence. I hope to continue like this."
Chelsea travel to Elland Road to face Leeds United in Saturday's early kick-off and Havertz will be hoping to keep his place in Tuchel’s starting XI after his impressive display against Everton.
But with Mount ruled out of the Champions League second leg clash with Atletico Madrid due to suspension, Tuchel may opt to keep Havertz fresh for Wednesday’s clash with the Spanish giants.