Kai Havertz has come under scrutiny for his displays since joining Arsenal, but fans must trust Mikel Arteta to get the best out of him

Imagine a few years ago when Arsenal performed as poorly as they did, and Kai Havertz was in the side. The German international would have been roasted to the core and never found his ground playing for the club again. Incidentally, one of the big clubs would have swooped in for him and

So Kai Havertz arrived at Arsenal, and the fans feel he is a divisive figure going by the narrative around the time he was signed. Some feel the German will fail miserably in North London, while others are keeping their lips sealed and waiting patiently for a top-draw performance.

The player has not arrived with four games as external pressure mounts on the 24-year-old to perform, showing why Arsenal paid £65 million to sign him. In the last few weeks, he became the scapegoat in the side that drew 2-2 against Fulham. And the glaring miss against Manchester United added another layer of scrutiny on his shoulders.

Mikel Arteta has consistently defended the player, who, by all means, has not performed poorly, something we could dwell on later on. Two weeks in a row, Arteta has stirred the subject of love regarding Havertz and even urged the fans to back him rather than dismiss his abilities regarding playing for Arsenal.

Last week, Arteta said, “Give him love, and we’ll get the best out of him.” Those words make sense in many ways, as it’s unfair to single out a player for the team’s shortcomings. Also, how people talk about how he ‘misses chances’ does not warrant criticism at this stage, considering he missed only one big chance since joining, i.e., the Manchester United game.

After the Manchester United game, Arteta gave further insight or fuel, as some may like, regarding what he told Havertz in training the other day. The manager used a strange ‘wife’ analogy to describe his German star to stay calm and wait for the right moment.

Arteta said, “I said to Havertz: things are hard at the beginning. When I met my wife, at the beginning, it was hard to conquer her. It was hard; I had to try and message her, and go, and go. And at the end, when she says ‘yes, we can be together,’ it’s beautiful.”

Former Chelsea boss had used a similar analogy for another misfiring star in Timo Werner, and said, “If a woman does not want to go out with you to dinner, you cannot force her to, you just step a little bit back and maybe she will call you up,” Tuchel said. “The best thing to do is not to think about and work hard. The goals will come.”

Unfortunately for Tuchel, Werner only scored three times after this analogy, and Arteta will hope that chapter does not repeat with Havertz. In truth, fans must consider the time factor and the fact that Havertz is coming from a terrible Chelsea side of last season that barely produced anything noteworthy in the final third. More so, he was their top scorer in all competitions.

Let us look at what’s going on with Havertz since joining Arsenal and what the solutions are in hand for now. Considering how dominant he was during his Bayer Leverkusen days, he can become a top player, and there is plenty of hope and time for things to change.

Fans must be patiet, Havertz’s time will come

Patience is the key word here, and as these Arsenal fans have resonated with their managers over the last three years, they must continue the trend with Havertz, too. Arsenal have built a brilliant team under the Spaniard and will continue to do so if the team’s core remains intact.

Declan Rice, David Raya and Jurrien Timber’s signings add to last season’s runners-up quality, and they will keep improving. Yet, the arrival of Havertz is seen by many as a blot in their plans for the future. Incidentally, Arteta doesn’t think that way.

There was similar disgruntleness with Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Martin Odegaard’s signings. Each of those stars has proven his worth in an Arsenal shirt over time, and now they seem irreplaceable in the side.

The only difference with Havertz is it has taken four games even to make a mark, as fans have come to the point of hoping the German delivers an odd moment for them to back him. The moments will come, and fans must hold their breath for now and radiate patience and calm rather than unhappiness with a small sample size.

One must also consider the change of position for Havertz. During his time at Chelsea, the 24-year-old played centre-forward, leading the line for 65% of his games. Under Arteta, he has started all four games and is in a central midfield position on the left side of the holding midfielder.

It takes time to adjust to these new surroundings, especially when you consider he is the only player in the team playing an unnatural position compared to his teammates. Rice is now playing in an attacking midfield position, and Saka is still the right winger for the team.

Since taking over that midfield position, his numbers have been good, rather than what the eye test shows. As per Squawka, before the Manchester United game, Havertz had won the most fouls and aerial duels, while he was only behind Saka for creating chances and winning duels. Unfortunately for the German, he has not completed a single take-on or a shot on target, as his assists and goals numbers are yet to get off the mark.

Replacing Granit Xhaka is no mean task, and Havertz has done well in that midfield role. One must remember that Xhaka played for many years, yet most may remember him for just last season when he had a goal-laden campaign.

The Swiss midfielder was not scoring goals until last season. But once he got a hook of the role, he started on a bang. Havertz can take on a similar approach, and on the plus side, he does not have to be taught how to find the back of the net.

Replacing Havertz in the team is not the answer.

After the last two games, fans are overly convinced Fabio Vieira should replace Havertz in that left-eight role. The former has had two brilliant cameos off the bench and is increasingly looking like a top-draw player to become the future of Arsenal. From our analysis from last summer on the Portuguese, which we still stand by, the attacking midfielder is more suited on the right side rather than on the left.

Moreover, Vieira may have had one top game in the Premier League when he started and played the whole match. He does not boast the experience that Havertz has at the top level. The German has won the Champions League with his strike and possibly knows how to hit the ball into the back of the net.

Vieira may seem like a solid option and even has the versatility in the attacking third. But Havertz is a mile ahead of the Portuguese midfielder. The German’s skills have a higher ceiling than many others in this Arsenal side, and Arteta knows the same.

The Spaniard is not naive to spend a chunk of his transfer budget if he knew Havertz would flop at Arsenal. Instead, there is an absolute belief that the German will come through; all he needs is patience. The Gunners boss has expertly shielded the attacker from criticism, especially from the media, who, for their part, have been unfair to judge him after 3-4 games on board.

Arsenal have plenty of midfield solutions and in the attacking third and could play well even without Havertz. However, if some people can take off their blindfolds and watch what the 24-year-old does on the pitch rather than following the narratives, they could see great value in having him.

From our perspective, like how Odegaard supports Saka on the right-hand side, Havertz can do the same for Gabriel Martinelli on their side. He has the power and ability to become the creative hub for his team and ably support those in front of him.

So far, he has passed a big test in converting himself into a midfielder from being a centre forward, an excellent testament to Arteta’s vision and coaching abilities. It is only four games into the season, and there’s a long road ahead. So fans must show ‘love’, patience and calmness to back this star so he can shine with freedom rather than negate him for his misdemeanours of the past.

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