Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Arsenal transfer news: Does Kai Havertz have a future as Arteta’s number nine?

Kai Havertz, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, 2023/24

“60 million down the drain, Kai Havertz scores again.”

Arsenal’s new favourite chant rang around the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening after their number 29 scored a late winner in a narrow 2-1 win over Brentford.

Declan Rice had opened the scoring for Mikel Arteta’s men, but a major error from Aaron Ramsdale allowed Brentford to equalise and Thomas Frank’s side came within minutes of securing a crucial point before Havertz nodded home a Benjamin White cross to send the Gunners fans wild.

Havertz has now scored in each of his last four Premier League appearances, with the Germany international finally finding his feet after his €75 million (£64m) summer move from Chelsea.

Blues fans have been quick to point out that Havertz tends to go on goal-scoring purple patches before failing to net

However, he scored one league goal in the first 12 matches of the season and it seems as though Arteta has finally found a suitable role for the ex-Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid. Surprisingly, that role has come as a centre forward.

Kai Havertz: Arsenal’s long-term striker?

In Gabriel Jesus’ absence, Havertz has started as Arsenal’s striker in the past three games and he has scored in every one of those appearances.

At Chelsea, the German was notoriously inconsistent with his finishing, but he appears to have improved since his move to north London. Havertz already has more Premier League goals than he managed in the entirety of last season (in roughly 500 less minutes) and he could well end the campaign with double digits for league strikes.

Havertz (nine) has more goals than Jesus (eight) in 2023-24 and Arsenal’s recent flurry of goal-scoring prowess has mostly come with the Germany international leading the line.

However, Havertz has never been a consistent goal-scorer over successive months since his move to the Premier League and he may work better in Arsenal’s midfield in the long-term.

Kai Havertz with Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal
© IMAGO – Kai Havertz with Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal

Furthermore, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano recently confirmed that Arteta’s side are still planning on landing a new number nine, despite Havertz’s form.

Romano told CaughtOffside: “Arsenal’s plan is still to sign an outright striker in the summer. The club’s idea remains the same – to look at strikers and find a good solution upfront. It is still too early to pick favourites, but for sure, Mikel Artera wants a forward and a midfielder.

“For Havertz, this is not bad news. The Gunners’ recruitment team are delighted with his transfer. He is considered a perfect signing because of how versatile he is – he can play in so many different positions.”

Havertz may have enjoyed a purple patch of form over the last few weeks, but the early indications are that he will not become Arsenal’s long-term striker, despite Arteta’s recent praise.

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