How Kai Havertz is proving his doubters wrong at Arsenal

  • Arsenal fans questioned the signing of the German but he is proving them wrong amid a good run of form
Kai Havertz scored in his third consecutive appearance on Monday
Kai Havertz scored in his third consecutive appearance on Monday / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

When Kai Havertz was announced as Arsenal's first summer signing in June 2023, many eyebrows were raised and questions arose as to whether he was really needed at the club.

Despite a quiet start to life with the Gunners, the Germany international has emerged as an important part of Mikel Arteta's side.

How Kai Havertz has fared at Arsenal so far

Kai Havertz
Havertz scored his first goal for the club in September / Christopher Lee/GettyImages

Havertz joined the Gunners for a reported fee of £65m and many viewed this as a complete waste of money ahead of an important season for Mikel Arteta. He had a decent pre-season, scoring goals against the MLS All-Stars and Barcelona, but was still subject to criticism by Arsenal fans.

He picked up a winners medal on his competitive debut for the club, starting up front in the Community Shield victory over Manchester City and then went on to start in their first four Premier League games. The German scored his first Arsenal goal from the penalty spot in a 4-0 away win over Bournemouth in September.

A week after scoring his first goal for the Gunners, he assisted Gabriel Martinelli's winner against Manchester City before going without a goal involvement in his next seven games. Havertz finally picked up serious form when he scored a late winner at Brentford and netted in a 6-0 Champions League win over Lens towards the end of November. This earned him the club's fan-voted Player of the Month award as he started to earn some plaudits.

He scored goals against Luton Town and Brighton in December before suffering another barren run heading into the new year. However, the German is arguably in his best form at this current time and that started with his performance against Liverpool. He started up front in his side's 3-1 win over their title rivals and despite not scoring, caused the Reds' defence plenty of trouble.

Since this display, Havertz has enjoyed a run of starts and has continued to improve his form. He netted in a 5-0 away win at Burnley after starting in midfield before playing at centre forward the following week and scoring again in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United. He again followed this up with another goal against Sheffield United a week later.

Kai Havertz is

Mikel Arteta, Kai Havertz
Maybe Mikel Arteta knew what he was doing / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Havertz's goal against the Blades took his tally for the season to seven league goals and eight in all competitions. This means that he is currently Arsenal's joint second-highest goalscorer in the league this season, tied with Leandro Trossard. This scoring tally acts alone in proving his doubters wrong and shows that he can offer plenty to this Gunners side.

Even when he isn't scoring or assisting goals, Havertz still finds a way to be involved and trouble the opposition. When playing up front, his staggering 6ft 4in stature has proven difficult for some defenders to deal with and allows him to impose himself in the air. Havertz's winning 2.70 aerial duels per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, meaning he ranks in the 97th percentile of all midfielders (70th percentile of forwards) competing in Europe's top five leagues.

This works well with goalkeeper David Raya's decisions to play long passes out from the back. His ability to hold onto the ball well also helps the team as he can draw the opposing players out of position, allowing for space to open up for chances.

The Germany international's versatility has proven to be useful for Mikel Arteta. He has played 26 matches as an attacking midfielder and scored four goals. As well as this, he has played six games each at centre forward and in central midfield, scoring two in each of these roles which are, admittedly, quite hard to define.

Havertz's decent goal record and versatility are no doubt proving those who questioned the signing wrong. Plenty felt that he wouldn't offer much to the team, but since fully settling in at the club, Havertz has shown that he is, and will continue to be, a crucial cog in Mikel Arteta's squad. His current form is very impressive and as the weeks go by, it looks like he is only going to further improve and continue to prove his doubters wrong.