Summer arrival Kai Havertz has had a slow start to his Arsenal career so far, and was disappointing again in his side’s victory over Manchester United.
The 24-year-old is yet to score or assist in four league games and has attracted criticism for his poor performances so far, which have seen him contribute little on the ball.
In the match against Man United, he had two huge moments to forget in yet another ineffective display. Early on in the first half, he found himself with the ball at his feet in the box with the goal at his beckoning and fluffed his lines completely, much to the frustration of the Emirates crowd.
Later on in the half, he saw a poorly placed pass intercepted by Christian Eriksen, directly leading to Marcus Rashford’s opening goal. In one moment, Havertz had both killed an Arsenal attack and helped give a goal away, and this will not have helped his confidence after what has been a difficult start.
Whilst there have been calls in recent days for Arteta to drop Havertz from the starting XI, the German should stay in the lineup for Arsenal’s trip to Everton after the international break.
Patience over Havertz
Whilst he was poor against United, Arteta has called for patience over Havertz, whom he described as “excellent” in training.
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With Thomas Partey now absent with injury, Havertz will be needed for his physical presence in the trip to Goodison Park, which has been a difficult ground for Arsenal in recent years.
Havertz’s confidence is low right now, and dropping him may only make this worse. If he starts and makes a positive contribution, it will be a step in the right direction for him, and given his strong ability in the air, a tough physical battle against an out-of-form Everton side could be the best time for him to play himself into form.
Fabio Vieira has been excellent off the bench in the last two games, but given the tough times Arsenal have faced at Everton in recent years, with the last win there coming six years ago, Havertz should still start over the 23-year-old.