Jamie Carragher has now questioned Mikel Arteta for looking to ‘accommodate’ Kai Havertz while Gabriel Jesus had an injury as it has only made Arsenal a weaker side.
The Gunners bet big to coax Havertz over to Emirates Stadium with his transfer from London rivals, Chelsea, this summer. Arsenal paid the Stamford Bridge side an initial £62.5m, plus up to £5m with add-ons. While the 24-year-old agreed to pen a five-year contract under Arteta.
Arsenal backed Arteta’s vision for Havertz as the north London side sought to replace what Granit Xhaka offered their midfield. The Swiss star left the club to return to the Bundesliga in July with Bayer Leverkusen. His move followed Xhaka producing his best season for Arsenal.
Why did Arsenal sign Kai Havertz from Chelsea for £67.5m?
Xhaka left Emirates Stadium on the back of him penning seven goals and seven assists in 37 Premier League games. The 30-year-old had not previously scored more than four goals in a single season with Arsenal. While his seven assists matched his personal best from 2017/18.
Arteta reaped the rewards from unshackling Xhaka to let him roam on the left-hand channel with Gabriel Martinelli and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Havertz has the potential to suit the role in north London, too, with his ability to ghost into the box and attack the rear post when freed.
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But Havertz left Chelsea having only scored 19 and created 10 goals over 91 Premier League appearances. He is also yet to open his account with the Gunners through three games and exited the action on 56 minutes against Fulham. Fabio Vieira took his place whilst 1-0 down.
Vieira had a sensational impact to help Arsenal flip the scoreline and lead 2-1 before letting in Joao Palhinha’s effort. Arteta now faces a decision on Havertz keeping a place as Arsenal host Manchester United on Sunday. Havertz rarely looked comfortable at home to Fulham.
Jamie Carragher questions Mikel Arteta as his side is weaker
Carragher claims that part of Havertz’s issues settling in at Arsenal stem from Jesus having an early-season knee injury. The Brazilian required surgery on the eve of the campaign after reporting discomfort in the knee he injured at the 2022 World Cup and also needed surgery.
“Arsenal have improved their squad over the summer,” Carragher stated for The Telegraph. “Declan Rice is an excellent addition who has already impressed. Losing Jurrien Timber to [a] serious injury is terrible luck for the player and club.
“Kai Havertz has endured a difficult start and in tweaking the formation to accommodate him before Gabriel Jesus is fully fit, something has been lost.”
Jesus made his term debut in stoppage time as Arsenal drew 2-2 with Fulham last Saturday. Arteta introduced the striker in the final stages in search of a late winner after missing their 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest and 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, plus the Community Shield.