Kai Havertz, the German midfield sensation who arrived at Arsenal from Chelsea with high expectations and a hefty price tag of around £67 million, has found himself under the microscope.
The German midfielder’s transition to Arsenal from Chelsea has been far from smooth, drawing criticism from pundits and fans alike.
Former Newcastle and West Ham Manager, Alan Pardew, speaking on TalkSPORT, voiced his concerns about Havertz, Pardew stated,
“The thing that worries me about Havertz is his personality. I don’t see his personality on the pitch. He’s got technical ability, but I don’t see him grab a game.”
This critique reflects the growing unease surrounding Havertz’s performance in an Arsenal shirt.
Kai Havertz: A Work in Progress
Pardew acknowledges Havertz’s technical prowess but expresses reservations about his ability to seize control of games. He points out that Havertz is yet to display the kind of personality and influence that can turn a match in Arsenal’s favor. Despite being part of Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League-winning team, Havertz’s adaptation to Arsenal’s style has been a gradual process.
Kai Havertz is widely considered a ready-made Premier League player, Havertz has failed to live up to expectations in his initial appearances for the club. With Arsenal investing almost £67.5 million (€78 million) in his acquisition, there is a mounting pressure for Havertz to step up and deliver. His lack of goals and assists in the first three Premier League matches has further fueled doubts about his ability to contribute effectively.
His less-than-stellar performance in the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge during preseason only added to the skepticism.
During the recent 2-2 draw against Fulham, Havertz was substituted after just 56 minutes. Eventhough, Arsenal needing a goal. This decision raised eyebrows, with Fabio Vieira, the substitute, winning a penalty moments later. Arteta, however, defended Havertz’s performance, highlighting his positioning and efforts to get into scoring areas.
“He got in great areas…a lot of situations he should’ve scored a lot of goals already this season.”
Skeptical Voices and ‘Mesut Ozil’ Comparisons
However, critics have not held back in assessing Havertz’s performances thus far. Richard Keys, quoted Mikel Arteta in an interview with beinSPORT, remarking,
“He got in great areas but the ball didn’t arrive… so did I yesterday and the ball didn’t arrive.”
This was aimed at the lack of end product from the German midfielder, with no goals or assists in three games.
Drawing an interesting parallel, Keys also likened the Havertz situation to that of Mesut Ozil, a mercurial talent who eventually left Arsenal. Keys stated,
“Havertz is the new Ozil… without the talent.”
Both players are seen as enigmas, and neither Arteta nor Guardiola, at their respective clubs, managed to harness their full potential. Havertz, however, needs to avoid becoming a footnote in Arsenal’s history like Ozil.
The Road Ahead
While doubts continue to swirl around Kai Havertz’s performance at Arsenal, Arteta remains optimistic. He believes Havertz has already shown flashes of brilliance and the potential to make a significant impact. However, Arteta acknowledged that the young German needs to convert his opportunities into goals.
In the fast-paced world of Premier League football, adaptation is key. Havertz will need to settle quickly and demonstrate his worth to justify Arsenal’s substantial investment. If he can rise to the occasion, Arsenal’s title hopes may remain intact, but if his struggles persist, they could be dashed before the season truly gets underway.
Only time will tell whether he can fulfill the promise he showed at Chelsea and live up to the expectations of Arsenal fans.
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