Football News

“Easily one of the best forwards in the Prem” – Kai Havertz continues to have huge impact at Arsenal

By James Amey

Published: 9:58, 8 April 2024

“£60 million down the drain, Kai Havertz scores again”

This was the chant that was ringing around the Amex on Saturday after the German helped Arsenal return to the top of the Premier League table with a 3-0 win over Brighton.

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After a mixed start to life in North London, Kai Havertz has proven exactly why Mikel Arteta was prepared to spend out £60 million on the former Chelsea man in the summer as he made it nine goal involvements (5 goals, 4 assists) in his last seven Premier League games with a goal and an assist against Roberto De Zerbi’s side.

His strike in the 62nd minute of the game, poking home after being found expertly in the box by Jorginho, was his ninth goal of the season, meaning he has now scored more Premier League goals in 30 games for Arsenal than he ever did in a single campaign for Chelsea. His finish was also his sixth away league goal this term, also his best in a single Premier League campaign and manager Mikel Arteta has nothing but good things to say about his number 29.

“He’s (Havertz) certainly having a huge impact on the team” the Spaniard said during his post-match press conference.

“I think his overall performances have been really good and now his numbers in terms of goal contributions, are really, really high. He needs to maintain that level, I think the understanding between the attacking players today was superb – I think they had real purpose and connection, and a lot of clarity to attack against them, and we created many chances.

“A lot of the time players decide where they have to play, and we can have certain ideas, but then you see certain relationships and some things flow. And when it flows, you have to let it go, and I think Kai at the moment is flowing and he’s feeling really comfortable there (up front), the rest of the team is comfortable with him there and things happen naturally.

“He’s got some fantastic players around him. We have tried to create the right environment for him which I think is very important for any player. We have given him confidence, I think hopefully we’ve given the love that he needs. And after, he has the appreciation from the rest of the players and the staff at the club and now, our supporters for sure.”

Since the start of February, only Cole Palmer (12) and Phil Foden (10) have been directly involved in more Premier League goals than the German (9), which is a huge improvement when you consider that he was only involved in eight goals (7 goals, 1 assist) in 35 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in the whole of last season.

His performances have been so good that former World number one and two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray tweeted how he is “Easily one of the best forwards in the Prem” and on current form it’s hard to disagree.

His goal contributions have improved massively, but it’s also his all round game that has helped Arsenal so far this season. The 24-year-old also has incredible movement (as seen with his goal against Brighton), is strong in the air, with only Gabriel (72) winning more aerial duels for the Gunners this season (70), strong in the duel, winning more duels per 90 for his side (6.35) than any other Arsenal player to play more than 1,300 minutes in the Premier League this season and is incredibly versatile, able to play almost anywhere on the pitch.