What started out as a wild rumour is starting to turn into a reality for Arsenal, it seems. Kai Havertz has been the subject of transfer speculation for a few weeks now and the rumour mill has only just started spinning.
Havertz has been looking for a way out of Chelsea and it looks like the Blues wouldn’t mind selling him if the price is right. Real Madrid have been interested in his services but Arsenal are the most recent club to sound their appreciation for the German, with Bayern lurking in the background. Price looks like the issue as there’s too big of a valuation difference between Arsenal and Chelsea. Personal terms are not expected to be a problem.
Both Fabrizio Romano and David Ornstein have reported on Arsenals interest:
Player’s keen on the move, it could help Arsenal in the negotiation.
Real Madrid won’t even pay £50m for Havertz as of now. pic.twitter.com/dS4KTzdAW1
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 14, 2023
🚨 Arsenal have made proposal to sign Kai Havertz. Pursuit ramped up in recent days; contact with Chelsea & 24yo. #FCBayern also keen. 2yrs left so #CFC ideally renew/sell
➕ #AFC planning formal offer to West Ham for Declan Rice soon @TheAthleticFC #WHUFC https://t.co/kV4wznmT5e
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) June 14, 2023
Career so far
When Havertz burst onto the scene it was clear Leverkusen have a player on their hands. 46 goals and 31 assists later for the club and Chelsea swooped in for a whopping £75.8m. Lampard added him as the 7th transfer deal of a seemingly productive summer, which in the end turned out to be not so productive after all.
Kai Havertz went through some difficult spells, with most of his time at the club considered underwhelming. 32 goals and 15 assists in 139 games for the club certainly isn’t spectacular by any means but he most definitely had his flashes of brilliance during his spell at Chelsea so far. If he does leave in the end, Chelsea fans will always remember him for his Champions League winning goal against Manchester City as well as his winning goal in the Club World Cup final against Palmeiras.
So why do Arsenal even want Kai?
With imminent Granit Xhaka’s departure, it seems Arteta is likely to remodel the left number eight role with a more attacking profile in Havertz. Havertz can also play as a false nine and across the attacking midfield.
Although I’m not the biggest fan of the move, especially for the prices being quoted and the fact we’re basically funding Chelsea in their pursuit of Caicedo, Mikel Arteta clearly sees value in Havertz. As do Real Madrid and Bayern.
Havertz can be a frustrating figure but he is still only 24 and the fact he’s coming into a healthy and stable environment means he can work on being his Leverkusen self again. I’ve said it a million times already but environment makes players. Arteta is no stranger to giving players second chances and Havertz might just be another project of his.
Kai certainly knows his way around the penalty area with his runs in the box a speciality of his. Xhaka racked up his attacking numbers last year but still, someone who’s a natural attacking midfielder cannot be compared to in those positions. The understanding of space in those areas is completely different and it’s almost a certainty we go in a more attacking direction on that side now. Some have even floated the idea that Odegaard might switch to the left but I personally don’t feel the right-hand side dynamics will be touched with too much.
We should wait and see what role and what position Kai Havertz would play in before critizing the idea just yet. I think we should go in another direction regarding the profile we’re signing but I’ve seen crazier things and Havertz is still quite young. The fact both Xhaka and Partey are leaving as two prominent senior figures is more worrying to me than this signing, however. The added goal potential is a big plus too.
Some reports even said Mikel Arteta sees him in Gabriel Jesus’ role so that’s one to think about as well.
Whatever happens, I’m excited to see just how he will fit in and if he can get his career back on track. Arteta is the right coach for him.