Kai Havertz’s Move to Arsenal
Kai Havertz was one of the big money signings made by Arsenal during the summer. The Gunners have recruited very well in recent years and that has helped the club emerge as a potential title challenger. However, eyebrows have been raised about the amount of money that was committed to the signing from Chelsea. The German international hadn’t set the world alight at Stamford Bridge, despite his Champions League winning goal. He had been spoken about as a potential world class player. That ability hasn’t been on show in England.
Financial Implications and Positional Strategy
Arsenal signed Havertz for a fee close to £65 million. That is a huge outlay for the Gunners. As such, they can’t afford for this signing not to be a success. Mikel Arteta has staked a lot on the German, as he tries to convert him into a deeper lying player. In the first few matches of the season, he has been used in midfield. Granit Xhaka left during the summer and Havertz has been signed to help fill that void.
Initial Responses and Adjustments
The early indications haven’t been great. Arteta was questioned by the media following the win over Manchester United and he stated that Havertz will need time. The German is adapting to a new club’s style and a new position. It was never likely to be a signing where the player could hit the ground running. Although moments like the mishit shoot and perceived dive on Sunday won’t help his reputation.
Defensive Contributions and Effort
Off the ball, Havertz has been praised for his work rate and defensive contribution. He has made eight tackles and interceptions so far, while he has recovered the ball 15 times during the first four fixtures. There are some teething problems as he adapts to his midfield role, but he isn’t afraid to throw his weight around out of possession.
Challenges with Ball Possession
The bigger issues have been with the ball. Havertz doesn’t look like a player that has a lot of confidence at the moment. A new club can sometimes help a player get back to their best form. The early indications are that hasn’t happened with him. Arsenal fans will need to be patient with him. Havertz has had six shots, but none of them have found the target. That is worrying as his finishing was picked out as an issue during his final season with Chelsea. Eight shot creating actions is okay. Arsenal will hope that he can have a bigger influence over the coming weeks, as he settles into his role.
Potential and Future Prospects
It is too early to write off Kai Havertz. He is clearly a very talented player, but he just needs to feel wanted in England. Arteta is managing him in the correct way and seems ready to be patient with him. At the age of 24, there is plenty of time for the former Chelsea player to develop into a high class operator.
Suggestions for Coming Matches
In the coming weeks, it will be wise for Arteta to take Havertz out of the firing line at times. The form of Fabio Vieira should give them an option for rotation. It may take one big moment for Havertz to feel at home at the Emirates Stadium. Supporters will be hoping that it comes sooner rather than later.