Former Arsenal fan favourite Bacary Sagna has praised new signing Kai Havertz, claiming that his style reminds him of striker Robin van Persie.

Havertz started as a centre-forward in the Community Shield, with Gabriel Jesus absent, and whilst he did miss a good chance, he performed well with his back to goal and was impressive in build-up play.

Sagna praised the German’s physicality against Manchester City’s centre-backs and said he reminded him of his old teammate Van Persie.

In quotes from The Mirror, Sagna made an interesting comparison to the former Dutch striker, who is not the most popular figure amongst Arsenal fans but was, without doubt, one of the best centre-forwards in the club’s recent history.

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“Kai Havertz played well in the number nine, especially against big defenders. I was expecting him to suffer physically, but he’s a clever player,” Sagna stated.

“He’s like Robin van Persie in the way he uses his body, he can cross and he’s technically very good. He could have scored but he created lots of chances, which is a positive.”

Is Havertz similar to Van Persie?

Although this is a comparison which may raise a few eyebrows, Havertz’s physical stature, combined with his technical ability, makes him similar in style to Van Persie.

The Dutchman was a lethal goalscorer, but was also adept in the air and was strong on the ball outside the box. With Havertz typically a midfielder, he is also capable of using his size and intelligent movement to find chances, whilst also contributing a lot in build-up play.

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Both players are left-footed attackers, and stylistically it is easy to see why comparisons are being made, with Van Persie also playing in multiple positions earlier on in his career before becoming a centre-forward.

Havertz’s finishing and goalscoring nous are levels behind Van Persie’s, but in this current Arsenal side under Mikel Arteta, if he can create a lot of chances for both his teammates and himself, he can become a very useful attacker next season, should he continue to be used up front.

It will be interesting to see whether Mikel Arteta continues to use Havertz for his physicality in a Van Persie-style role, or if he will opt for Leandro Trossard or Eddie Nketiah whilst Jesus is still injured.

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