Sky Sports presenter Gary Neville has stated that he expects new Arsenal arrival Kai Havertz to improve from his performance levels at Chelsea.
The German joined Arsenal for around £60m this summer, in what was considered a surprise to many given his fairly poor form at Chelsea.
Havertz struggled at Stamford Bridge, but Mikel Arteta clearly thinks he can unlock his high potential, and Neville has shared his excitement over the prospect of the 24-year-old in this current Arsenal side.
Speaking on The Overlap, Neville praised Havertz, and claimed that he is set for a season of improvement.
“I just look at that frontline of Martinelli, Saka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Jesus, Havertz, they’re all mobile, they can all play across the front. I think Havertz is a very good player. I think he’ll be a lot better than he was at Chelsea,” he stated.
What role will Havertz play?
The expectation was that Havertz would replace Granit Xhaka as an advanced central midfielder next to Martin Odegaard, who would provide both goal threat and physicality to the middle.
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However, Arsenal lined up in the Community Shield with Declan Rice in Xhaka’s old position, and Havertz as a striker in the absence of Gabriel Jesus.
Whilst Havertz’s versatility has been praised by Arteta, there may be caution about playing him in many different positions, given that his lack of consistency at Chelsea arose from having no clear role in the team.
The Germany international has clearly been bought with an idea in mind, that the combination of height, physicality and strong technique will allow him to be used as a target man, which can help Arsenal when facing a tough pressing side like Manchester City, whilst also utilising him in an attacking role which can see him move into the box for a scoring chance.
This was on full display in his performance in the Community Shield, impressing at times with his hold-up play whilst also finding himself on the end of a good chance. Whilst his starting position may change from time to time, he will have a specific purpose when on the pitch, and he will hope to play with a lot more confidence than he did in West London.