How Kai Havertz has Silenced Critics at Arsenal

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash)

When Arsenal signed Kai Havertz from Chelsea in June 2023, many fans believed it to be a bad move for the Gunners. The German forward had struggled to make an impact for Chelsea in his three years at the club, never really fitting into their system. Although he had scored important goals for Chelsea, including in the Champions League final, few of their fans were sad to see him go.

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash)

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash)

Arsenal had challenged for the title in the previous season, and while they remained one of the favorites according to the soccer betting odds, few expected Havertz to have such an impact. Despite taking some time to settle into the team, the German has become an integral part of the first eleven, contributing important goals and assists while helping in all areas of the pitch.

Why Havertz Didn’t Work at Chelsea

At Chelsea, Havertz was something of a square peg in a round hole. The former Leverkusen forward had joined for the Blues off of an impressive season in the Bundesliga, but failed to replicate his form in the Premier League. He was often played as the lone number nine without much support, or in a deep midfield position, where he was expected to dictate the play more. At Leverkusen, his best seasons came when playing high up the pitch, allowing him to press high and utilize his finishing. However, his issues at Chelsea were far more than positional.

Chelsea have been a turbulent club in recent seasons, winning the Champions League but failing to impress in the league. The arrival of new owners, as well as the constant revolving door of new managers meant it was hard to find stability. In comparison, Arsenal football club has an extremely solid structure in place, and players are given clear instructions on how to play and what’s expected of them.

How Arteta has Unlocked Havertz’s Potential

Many pundits and fans, including William Gallas, failed to see what Havertz could bring to Arsenal. The fact that he cost £65 million didn’t help matters, though Arteta has generally been good at identifying the right targets that will improve the squad. The Spaniard obviously saw something in Havertz and recognised that his team could get far more out of his talents on the pitch.

One of the main issues that Havertz had when he first arrived was a lack of confidence. After playing for so long in a poor Chelsea side, and with few chances to shine, he had lost faith in his own abilities. The Arsenal team rallied around him, helping him find his feet, and the fans responded well too, chanting his name.

The result has been a resurgence in his form, as he’s made the most goal contributions of any player in the Premier League since January. His finishing has clearly improved significantly, and his work rate in all areas of the pitch sets an example to other players.

The Future of Havertz at Arsenal

Arsenal are challenging for the title once more in the 2023-24 season, locked in a three-way battle between Liverpool and Manchester City. In addition, they’ve made the quarter finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2010, fourteen years ago. This is a very different side to the Arsenal of old, and Havertz is now playing a key role in their success.

When the German international arrived at Arsenal, he said he wanted to help the club win trophies. Of course, that’s the aim of any player at a top side, but it looks as though Arsenal are really on the cusp of that this season. If Havertz can continue performing at his best, then there’s no reason why the Gunners can’t lift major silverware this season and in the future. 

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