Football News

Is Kai Havertz an “important” Arsenal player yet?

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 16:50, 19 December 2023

Emmanuel Petit believes the best of Kai Havertz in an Arsenal shirt is yet to come.

The native of Aachen completed a £60m from Chelsea this summer but until recently struggled to cement a regular starting berth under Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

During three years at Stamford Bridge, the German international 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 most noteworthy 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.

Since crossing the London divide he’s featured in all of Arsenal’s opening 17 league matches subsequently registering four goals with three of those coming in his last five appearances. Petit, who represented both capital teams, feels patience has been rewarded and Havertz will further repay Arteta in the new year.

“I always said I’d be patient with Havertz if I was Arteta,” Petit told

“I would have benched him before putting him in the starting XI, recently he came off the bench and scored. He’s scored four or five goals now for Arsenal. I don’t think he’s that important in the game, sometimes he disappears. In terms of movement I think he’s creating a lot of chances for his teammates.

“I think we will see the best of him in the second part of the season. You can see he’s starting to understand how Arsenal are playing. It’s not easy when you come from Chelsea to Arsenal. I’m very happy for him, he deserves credit for what he’s doing, he received so much criticism from fans and the media, step by step he’s getting back to his level. Arteta uses him in many different positions.”

Of the aforementioned Premier League outings Havertz’s made 13 came as an attacking midfielder while he’s played in a false nine role (one game) and central midfield (three matches).

Havertz netted in Arsenal’s resounding 4-0 win at Bournemouth on matchday seven before scoring a late winner, off the bench, at Brentford (1-0) in late November. The former Bayer Leverkusen academy graduate started in Arsenal’s recent wins over Luton (4-3) and Brighton (2-0) scoring in both.

Havertz, who could play at left-back for Germany at next summer’s home European Championship, also found the net in the Champions League (6-0 v Lens at home).