Friday, June 21, 2024
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Mikel Arteta: Kai Havertz is no longer an Arsenal flop

Kai Havertz, Arsenal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hailed Kai Havertz for the way in which he has turned around his career at the Emirates.

Havertz has been in inspired form recently, scoring four goals in his last four games.

The versatile Germany was pivotal during the 2-1 win over Brentford, scoring an 86th minute to clinch three massive points for Arsenal in the title race.

All this came after a dreadful start to his Arsenal career where he was being labelled as the flop of the season by many experts.

What did Arteta say?

“I’m so happy,” said Arteta.

“If somebody told me after the first two or three months that the whole stadium would be singing his song with that passion, with that feeling, with that chemistry, I would have found it hard to believe.

“That’s what happens to good people. He’s an exceptional player. When he starts to score goals like this and everything starts to flow people feel more connected with him.

Declan Rice and Kai Havertz scored against Brentford
© IMAGO – Declan Rice and Kai Havertz scored against Brentford

“They see his work rate, they see his intelligence, they see how he plays for the team and how he’s contributing. It’s impossible not to love him.”

Arsenal signed Havertz from Chelsea for €75 million (£65m) last summer. That made him the third most expensive signing in the club’s history.

In the process he also became Arsenal’s highest-paid player. He earns an annual salary of €17m per season (£14.5m), more than Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice and William Saliba.

Arteta’s move for Havertz came as something of a surprise as the Germany international had largely struggled during his time in the Premier League with Chelsea.

Although he scored the winner in the 2021 Champions League final against Manchester City, Havertz failed to live up to his billing after his £71m move from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020.

His poor start to his Arsenal career in which he had no goal contributions – goals or assists – in his first nine games and only two in his first 19, seemed to confirm that Arteta had made a mistake signing Havertz.

But Havertz has been in brilliant form recently – whether in midfield or in the striker role he played against Brentford.

No longer a flop.

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