Arsenal have signed Kai Havertz from Chelsea, and the 24-year-old German forward thus became yet another player from his country to play for the Gunners. He scored his first goal in an Arsenal shirt in a friendly match last Thursday.
However, getting into the starting eleven of the Gunners next season is not going to be easy for him, as he is likely to face stiff competition from players like Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard.
Still, Havertz might prove to be one of the most crucial ones for the upcoming season. The German has scored only 32 goals in 139 matches for Chelsea, and will want to improve his record while playing for the Gunners.
Havertz joins a big list of Germans who have played at Arsenal
As already mentioned, quite a few Germans have played for Arsenal during the last couple of decades. The likes of Jens Lehmann, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi and Bernd Leno have plied their trade for the Gunners and Havertz is the latest addition to that list.
Lehmann and Ozil have especially made their marks during their stints at the club, raking up 199 and 254 appearances for the club, respectively. Lehmann was a regular starter for the Invincibles in the 2003-04 season. Ozil also spent a considerable part of his career as the playmaker at the club, shining under Arsene Wenger’s tutelage.
Mertesacker played in 221 matches for the club as a central defender. Mustafi and Leno also played their parts during their stints at the Emirates. However, Lehmann remains the only German to have won the Premier League title with Arsenal. Havertz will hope to match that feat by helping Mikel Arteta’s side lift the league title.
Havertz might have to play as the No. 9
It has been proven time and again that Havertz is not a typical No. 9 and does not have a particularly good goal-scoring record. At best, he can play as a false nine, but can be more productive playing as a right-winger or even behind the striker.
However, Arsenal already have Saka in their right flank, Martinelli on the left and Odegaard as their No. 10, each of whom were among the best performing players of last season. Hence, Havertz will probably have to directly contend with Gabriel Jesus for a place in the starting line-up. As of now, Jesus is the more favored player to start as the No. 9 next season for Arsenal.
Havertz is quite an elegant player with a silken touch and can also use his height well to score goals with headers. However, in order to flourish at Arsenal, he has to combine well with the other members of the attacking unit.
Arsenal play short, quick passes in the final third to breach the opposition defenses and hence, the German forward will have to make sure that he exchanges passes well with the likes of Odegaard, Saka and Martinelli. It remains to be seen how well he rises to the challenge and helps the Gunners give other big clubs like Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool a good fight in the upcoming season.