Frank Lampard issued a strong defence of Kai Havertz after Chelsea’s defeat at Everton.
The Blues were beaten 1-0 at Goodison Park – their first loss in 18 matches.
They struggled to create clear-cut chances and Havertz, playing on the right flank, did not make much of an impact.
It was suggested to Lampard afterwards that the German had come in for criticism.
Lampard replied: “I think in the modern day there is going to be criticism of players after losing games or when something doesn’t go right.
“We certainly should be patient with Kai Havertz because he’s a top-quality talent.
“He’s playing on the right wing. He can play in any position across the front.
“He played on the right wing countless times before he signed for Chelsea. So that’s not an issue. He can do that.
“I’ve got no problem with Kai. If people want to criticise him and jump straight on to criticise, just wait.
“Give a young player time. Come back to me in six months, a year or whatever.
“I know the player that Kai Havertz can be.”
Boss Lampard also defended Edouard Mendy, whose error led to the only goal of the game.
The keeper clumsily bundled Dominic Calvert-Lewin over in the box and Gylfi Sigurdsson tucked away the resulting penalty.
“He’s been fantastic since he’s been here,” Lampard said.
“I don’t think it was just his mistake, either. The mentality of the team to deal with second balls in the early part of the game wasn’t so good.”