Mikel Arteta should turn to Kai Havertz to lead the line against Manchester United on Sunday.

Arsenal host Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Mikel Arteta will be plotting a way for the Gunners to win, and should call on Kai Havertz to spearhead his attack.

The Gunners paid £65 million to prise Havertz away from Chelsea this summer. The German has started every Premier League game for the north London club so far this season, operating in a midfield role, alongside club captain Martin Odegaard and fellow new arrival Declan Rice.

However, Havertz has failed to really hit the ground running. Arguably, his best performance for his new club came in the Community Shield triumph over Manchester City. He was deployed as a striker on that day at Wembley Stadium. Whilst his finishing was poor, he proved a menace to the Manchester City defence and worked well as a target man for Arsenal.

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Havertz was used a striker by Chelsea, and struggled for consistency in the role. Ultimately, his future at Arsenal will be primarily as part of the midfield unit, he just needs a little more time to settle in to the position. 

As a striker, though, the 24-year-old offers a unique skillset amongst Arteta’s options. These attributes make him a particularly suitable starter for Sunday’s match.

Arsenal FC v Fulham FC - Premier League
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Why Havertz should start up front for Arsenal on Sunday

Manchester United will take the game to Arsenal. They will defend from the front and press high. Whilst the Gunners are capable of playing around or through this press, Havertz, with his physicality and aerial ability, gives them the option to go over it. 

If Havertz can reliably hold up the ball and bring his teammates into play, Arsenal can bypass the visitors’ press and establish their control on the game. Gabriel Jesus and the in-form Eddie Nketiah, as talented as they are, don’t give Arsenal the chance to take this approach in the same way.

This call would be harsh on Nketiah, especially. The Hale End academy product has been in fine form of late and has been rewarded with his first ever call up to Gareth Southgate’s senior England squad. The Arsenal manager, though, is nothing if not ruthless in his pursuit of victory.

Arteta will also always have the ability to call on the aforementioned duo from the bench should Arsenal be in need of a goal.

Deploying Havertz up front from the start, though, allows Rice and Thomas Partey to come into midfield. That, in turn, means Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Magalhaes can return to the back four, with Ben White operating as a right-back once again. That starting line-up gives Arsenal their best chance of dictating the way this game goes.

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