First half report not so kind on Havertz

By on January 25, 2024

That Arsenal have regressed from the high standards the Gunners carried last season is not in question. Arsenal have been poor this season and much of that is down to the disruptions to the squad, okayed by the club’s hierarchy. One of the biggest flops for Arsenal so far has been Kai Havertz. The German forward, signed from Chelsea, was thought to be a straight swap for Granit Xhaka who left for Bayer Leverkusen at the height of a good final season with Arsenal. One thing Havertz will compare with the Swiss midfield dynamo is that both players aren’t proven regular goal scorers. However, where Xhaka edges Havertz is that he has more defensive clout and is more of a team leader than the German, whose time at Arsenal has been highlighted by timid performances and many missed chances. While he has come to life at given times, for the better part of the first half of the season, Havertz hasn’t been able to serve Arsenal fans the expected flavour for his £65m move from Chelsea. In most cases, it has been baffling why Mikel Arteta and Edu reached the agreement to okay the move.

Not favorites

Unlike their form at this time last year, Arsenal no longer rank as top favorites to win the title, especially after dropping from top four fourth in the league standings within a fortnight and top bookies do not have great reviews about the Gunners’ title hopes. Some of these UK bookmakers for betting on Arsenal are reviewed on Cheekypunter and also they have ranked the best online betting sites for football, including Bet365, Bet Victor, Betfred and more. Going into the winter period, it is noted with clarity that Arsenal need goals, what is also clear is that those goals will not come from Havertz. In the one occasion that Mikel Arteta fielded Havertz as an out and out striker, the German failed terribly as Arsenal lost 2-0 to Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup. It actually seemed like torture for the German forward in that game.

Fielding issues

With time, it is even seemingly difficult to know where to field the German international. Arteta has used him in a variety of positions in attack but getting him to score regularly has been the biggest quagmire. At the national team level he has even been fielded as a left-back at some point. A number of pundits have labeled him too soft to the tackle and not aggressive enough to be of much benefit to Arsenal. It is worse that Arteta has sacrificed a number of key Arsenal academy players to field Havertz, all with very little returns. The deficiency with Havertz is more pronounced by the fact that his fellow new signing, Declan Rice has been outstanding in midfield for the Gunners. Havertz is also believed to be a player who can thrive as a playmaker, but unfortunately at Arsenal, there’s a bigger player with that role. Martin Odegaard is Arsenal’s current number 10 and he is doing so well that the thought of replacing him with Havertz makes really no sense. Four goals in 19 league matches doesn’t really  paint a great picture for Havertz as a forward player.