Football News

‘He’s already shown a lot’ – Mikel Arteta breaks silence on major summer target

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:30, 25 June 2023

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has offered his thoughts regarding summer target Kai Havertz.

The native Aachen is heavily linked with the Gunners this summer with reports suggesting a move from Stamford Bridge is close to completion. Havertz joined the Blues from boyhood club Bayer Leverkusen in 2020 for a reported initial £62 million fee (which could rise to £71 million with add-ons).

He’s subsequently played under four different managers across several different positions (notably the false nine role) giving him a return of 32 goals and 15 assists in 139 appearances. Havertz’s greatest moment undoubtedly came in the 2021 Champions League final when he scored the winning goal against Manchester City, before doing the same in the forthcoming Club World Cup final, making him the first player to achieve this feat since Lionel Messi a decade earlier.

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Following an unlikely championship push which culminated in Arteta’s side finishing runners-up, a busy pre-season is expected at the Emirates, with Declan Rice among those courted. Havertz’s name though has raised eyebrows; the expected fee isn’t the only issue as some observers are curious to know where he would fit. Arteta, much like his mentor Pep Guardiola, is fast becoming renowned for tinkering with his set-up and Havertz, who is known to occupy several areas, is someone he’s been keeping tabs on for a while.

“Talent comes at a price, and at Arsenal we are always interested in youngsters with experience,” he told Marca.

“I repeat, I’m not talking about players from other clubs, but in the case of Kai he has already shown a lot, including in the Champions League. He is a talented player, versatile and only 24 years old.”

If he does complete his move, then Havertz becomes the 13th player to represent Chelsea and then Arsenal; a list that includes Jorginho, Willian, David Luiz, Petr Čech, Yossi Benayoun, Lassana Diarra, William Gallas, George Graham and Tommy Lawton.