Sun. Sep 24th, 2023

Kai Havertz, Arsenal’s latest signing, has been described as an adaptable player who can serve multiple functions on the pitch – as a winger, number 10, false nine or even up front.

But, how is Havertz faring at the Emirates? In this article we will assess his performance since joining from Chelsea last summer.

1. He hasn’t scored a goal since January

Havertz spent three years at Chelsea wasting big chances and has yet to prove himself a prolific goalscorer. However, he excelled in other areas such as link-up play and creating chances from open play.

He may not be one of the quickest runners, but he makes up for it by moving the ball rapidly along the ground and being exceptional in possession. Additionally, his set piece threat and off-the-ball awareness cannot be underrated.

Havertz hasn’t reached the heights many anticipated at Arsenal. Whether that is due to limited playing time or adapting to English football, if he is going to fulfil his potential. With an expensive price tag – PS65 million – brought into Arsenal, unlocking his full potential could make his money well spent; perhaps making him into a false nine alongside Xhaka and electric wingers such as Bukayo Saka and Martinelli may help unlock it all.

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2. He hasn’t been involved in the build-up to goals

Mikel Arteta has made it abundantly clear that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta views Havertz as one of their premier attacking prospects. Last season he scored 12 goals as an enforced false nine at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich where Christian Pulisic often used him.

Havertz is yet to score this season, which should cause Gunners concern; however, his goal-scoring is on par with expectations, which is promising. His physical attributes allow him to win duels at the top of the box while providing crosses which others can turn home.

Havertz fits seamlessly into Tuchel’s five-pronged attack, thanks to his technical ability which allows him to find Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli with pinpoint passes. Furthermore, Havertz provides necessary back up for Granit Xhaka, William Saliba and Eddie Nketiah’s central front three – but for him to fulfill his potential, more opportunities must be created for his teammates.

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3. He hasn’t been a key player

Havertz has frequently found himself struggling against physical centre-backs when deployed as a false nine. While this role has limited his impact, Havertz can add much more value to any squad.

Havertz stands out as a team player due to his natural ability to create and link with others – particularly runners in behind. He brings something different to the squad and could work well alongside electric wingers such as Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

Havertz can improve, but the question for Arsenal fans should be where Havertz fits into the team. He’s an adaptable player who demonstrates a high degree of tactical and situational intelligence well beyond his age that suggests he could operate in multiple roles for them; something which would bolster their attacking options in future seasons – not least thanks to him adding height and aerial threats in their final third!

4. He’s not a goal-scorer

Havertz’s career has yet to take the expected trajectory since joining one of the world’s biggest clubs three years ago, yet many expected him to become an immediate star. But Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has an established track record of developing young talent into star players; under Arteta’s tutelage Havertz may find the platform for him to blossom fully at his new home club.

He can play several roles and is an adept link-up player while being capable of dropping deep to help with defense. Granit Xhaka occupies similar space in attack as him while also providing Arsenal with an aerial threat lacking in their ranks.

Havertz has produced more chances than any other player for Arsenal in their three Premier League matches this season; however, his finishing has been subpar. He frequently fires off the crossbar or strikes without conviction – something which sets him apart from Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli who all possess superior goalscoring records than Havertz.

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