Kai Havertz has not had the best start to his Arsenal career so far, but journalist Charles Watts has now slammed comparisons between the German and Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe was Arsenal’s record signing in 2019, but started slowly at the Emirates before eventually finding some form, but quickly losing it. The winger recently departed following a mutual termination of his contract, and some fans have argued that Pepe was not afforded the same chances that Havertz has.
Havertz has been heavily criticised following a quiet first few games for Arsenal, but Watts has now claimed that some fans are being too harsh on him.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Watts claimed that comparisons with Pepe are nonsense, as Pepe had a lot longer to prove himself than Havertz has had.
“There have been lots and lots of comments, I have been pretty amazed how every comment about Nicolas Pepe, somehow, they are managing to get Kai Havertz into it,” he stated.
“I don’t get the Kai Havertz thing. It’s like too much. Everything seems to get turned around to Kai Havertz. I don’t understand how Nicolas Pepe’s situation can be turned around to Kai Havertz. I don’t get it.
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“Yes, Kai Havertz isn’t doing great. He hasn’t hit the ground running yet. It’s annoying. We want him to do better. We hope he does better.
“Some are saying ‘why is Mikel giving Kai Havertz so many chances, he didn’t give Nicolas Pepe’.
“Havertz has played four games. Pepe played a season and a half under Arteta. It’s not like he didn’t get a chance. He played plenty. I don’t get that comparison.”
Pepe took a while to settle when he first arrived at Arsenal, with his first open-play goal coming against West Ham in December 2019.
Havertz has had far less time than Pepe did, but the circumstances they both faced were very different. Pepe would find himself in and out of the team, whilst the club was in a chaotic period of instability under Unai Emery.
Havertz has joined what was a settled team last season, and his performances have arguably disrupted the side going forward. Whilst it is still early days for him, the upcoming game against Everton will be an important opportunity for the 24-year-old to silence his critics.
Beyond his lack of output, Havertz has shown little intensity on the ball, and in what will be a tough physical battle, the match at Goodison Park could be the perfect time for him to physically impose himself on a game.