Arsenal now have 16 first-team players on international duty for the September break but Kai Havertz is one of five Gunners who jet off with points to prove to Mikel Arteta.
The north London giants have enjoyed a strong start to the season points-wise after winning three of their opening four Premier League fixtures. But Arsenal have not been convincing in each game for the full 90 minutes. Some of their stars are also yet to shine at their brightest.
Arteta has used 20 different players through their opening fixtures to varying amounts. Reiss Nelson became their latest one to take to the pitch in Sunday’s win over Manchester United. Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Declan Rice and William Saliba have played all 360 minutes yet.
Arsenal’s £67.5m summer signing from Chelsea, Havertz, has played the eighth most so far with 313 minutes under Arteta. The 24-year-old has started all four of the Gunners’ Premier League games since leaving west for north London. Yet his form remains a cause for debate.
Now, Havertz will hope to use Hansi Flick’s faith to prove a point to Arteta with the Arsenal star’s efforts for Germany in the September international break across the next two weeks.
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Havertz already has a point to prove after signing for Arsenal
Arteta has given Havertz a lot of support since his transfer from Chelsea. The Arsenal coach firmly believes in what the German can offer at Emirates Stadium. Yet the 24-year-old’s lack of an end product has already created some discussion over his place in the Spaniard’s side.
Havertz has displayed some decent touches and has found himself in positions to create for Arsenal. But he has not been the player Arteta needed on the ball in a few situations. It was the case last week when he spurned a glorious chance to score against Manchester United.
Flick continues to trust in what Havertz can offer Germany, though. So, he will now jet off on international duty with a point to prove to Arteta for Arsenal’s next Premier League game at Everton on September 17. The playmaker will be desperate to retain his place in Arteta’s XI.
Nketiah can use his maiden England chance to keep Jesus out
Gareth Southgate has named Eddie Nketiah in a senior England international squad for the first time at the perfect time as the forward has a point to prove to Arsenal. The Three Lions boss has looked favourably on how the 24-year-old has fared under Arteta so far this term.
Nketiah has led the line at Emirates Stadium after Gabriel Jesus underwent knee surgery on the eve of the season. But the Brazilian scored his first goal of the term against Manchester United after returning to action against Fulham. Now, Nketiah could fall to the fringes again.
He has scored twice this term after notching efforts against Nottingham Forest and Fulham. Yet Nketiah needed a deflection off of Joe Worrall to find the back of the Reds’ net. He also only offered a lively presence with little attacking impact at home to Manchester United.
Gabriel can cement his regained role in the international break
Gabriel Magalhaes could get his first cap for Brazil at the senior level during the September international break as he jets off with a point to prove to Arteta back at Arsenal. The centre-half can use a chance to shine with the Selecao to cement his regained role at the Emirates.
Arteta stunned some at the start of the season by axing Gabriel from the Arsenal line-up for the first time since September 2021. He even made the 25-year-old wait until Manchester United’s visit to north London to register his first start this season after two brief cameos.
Gabriel did not even get on the pitch against Fulham amid interest from Saudi Arabia in his transfer. Yet he slotted straight back in on Sunday and showed his intelligence in the closing stages to catch Alejandro Garnacho offside. Now, a first Brazil cap could cement his return.
Trossard has a point to prove to Arsenal in the international break
Arteta will also hope to see Leandro Trossard use making Belgium’s team for the September international break as his chance to prove a point to Arsenal. The 28-year-old has played for just 62 minutes in the Premier League this season. He has also only featured in two fixtures.
Trossard even started at home to Fulham as a centre-forward yet made way at half-time for Nketiah. Arteta hooked their 26-cap forward at the break having regularly struggled with his first touch. Trossard also had little impact after replacing Nketiah against Nottingham Forest.
Belgium’s games with Azerbaijan and Estonia might not give Trossard high-profile fixtures to impress in. But he may use the regular minutes to prove a point to Arteta that a greater role should await him back at Arsenal. Especially after his 10 assists in just 22 games last season.
Raya can show why Arsenal signed him in the international break
Arsenal signed David Raya on loan from Brentford with an option to buy to keep Ramsdale honest in goal. Yet Fulham’s Andreas Pereira caught the England goalkeeper out of position to score. He was also nervy as Nottingham Forest eyed a late equaliser on the opening day.
The arrival of Raya at Emirates Stadium saw Ramsdale respond with some important saves at Crystal Palace. But Raya will go on international duty with Spain with a point to prove to earn his Arsenal debut. He has so far merely watched on after three games at the Gunners.
Raya can make an even bigger point to Arteta should the Arsenal goalkeeper play as Spain meet Georgia and Cyprus, too. Luis Enrique offered the 27-year-old his Roja debut in March 2022. But Raya has only since added one cap in November 2022 despite making each team.