Ex-Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs has raised doubts about his former club’s decision to sign Kai Havertz from Chelsea.
The Gunners have paid a reported £65m for the German international but Gibbs says there are big question marks over a player who has struggled for form over the last couple of years:
“I don’t know with this one, I’d love to know what Havertz is thinking himself. I wonder if he is sat there thinking ‘I wonder how I’ve managed to snag this move?’ after the last two seasons or is he thinking he’s genuinely worth this and he’s going to deliver.”
“A £70m signing is a signature signing. For that, I want someone who when things are going bad he’s going to put the team on his back and say don’t worry boys I’ve got this. At first sight, I don’t see it. Right now I don’t see it.”
Gibbs is not the only one that has concerns about the deal, and Havertz does have a lot to prove, but he will certainly be keen to repay the faith that manager Mikel Arteta has shown in him.
Change of Position
Arteta has already hinted that he sees Havertz as a midfielder, rather than a forward and it appears that he will be deployed in a much deeper role than he was a Chelsea, where he was ostensibly used as a no.9 or winger.
It has even been reported that the Gunners want him to play in the advanced no.8 position that Granit Xhaka made his own last season.
Arsenal will try to unlock Havertz’s ability
There is no doubt that the German possesses a lot of talent. Even at Chelsea, where he struggled for consistency, he showed glimpses of what he can do.
Havertz has great close control and he can glide past defenders. Admittedly he does lack strength and, as Gibbs mentions, there are questions to be answered about whether he can step up in the important moments. From Arteta’s perspective, though, the goal is to find a way to get the best out of him.