BBC presenter Gary Lineker has defended Arsenal midfielder Kai Havertz against accusations he is an underachiever.
Lineker cited the German’s winning goal for Chelsea in the 2021 Champions League final as an example where he has delivered on the biggest stage:
“I don’t think at the minute you can judge any Chelsea player on last season’s performances, the club was in turmoil, it was a mess, it was a shambles, they all underperformed. I think there’s something in Havertz, and what gives it to me is he scored a winning goal in a Champions League final, he did that.”
Lineker was asked by the No Ratings podcast to rank Havertz alongside Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and Tottenham’s Richarlison. He says the Arsenal star would come out on top:
“I would personally put Havertz first, then either or, maybe Martial, because he has a record, and Richarlison still has it to do, although I think he’s capable.”
Havertz needs to win over Arsenal supporters
Lineker is seemingly more convinced about the 24-year-old’s abilities than some Gunners fans, who have not been impressed with his displays since he arrived from Chelsea for £65m in the summer.
For someone who cost that much, people are entitled to expect a lot more than what they are currently seeing from Havertz. He has yet to score or provide an assist in 5 appearances for the London club.
Will Havertz start against Everton this weekend?
The German international was replaced by Fabio Vieira with 15 minutes to go against Manchester United, and the Portuguese midfielder made a big impact, providing an assist for Gabriel Jesus’s goal.
There are calls for Vieira to start ahead of Havertz at Goodison Park on Sunday evening, but we shall have to wait and see what manager Mikel Arteta decides.