Premier League • England

Arsenal news: Kai Havertz backed ahead of Man Utd star pundit has ‘not seen’ since World Cup

Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Hojlund, Marcus Rashford, Manchester United, November 2023

Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Hojlund, Marcus Rashford line up ahead of UCL game

Darren Bent insists he would rather have Kai Havertz up front for Arsenal than Marcus Rashford despite the German struggling since his arrival at the club.

Havertz, 24, moved to the Emirates from Chelsea in the summer with the Gunners paying a reported £65m. The transfer raised a few eyebrows at the time as the Germany international had not pulled up any trees in west London. The former Bayer Leverkusen ace showed glimpses of his best form but managed only 32 goals from 139 appearances in all competitions.

Mikel Arteta chose to take a punt on the forward but he has struggled to make much of an impact early in his Arsenal career.

He has scored just twice from 13 top-flight outings while netting once in the Champions League.

However, there have been signs of late that the man from Aachen is starting to come to terms with his new surroundings.

He bagged the winner as the north Londoners beat Brentford last weekend.

And the man with 14 international goals was also on target as Arsenal beat Lens 6-0 in the Champions League earlier this week.

Rashford has also struggled for Manchester United early in 2023-2024.

Having shone last term, especially in the second half of the season, the England man looks off the pace.

He has two goals from 17 outings in all competitions and seems devoid of confidence.

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And asked if he would prefer Havertz in the current Arsenal line-up ahead of Rashford, Bent concurred.

“Right now, for what Arteta wants to do, yes. Currently where we are now, give me Havertz,” he said on talkSPORT.

“I don’t want Rashford at the minute. I don’t know what I’m getting from Rashford.

“Rashford has got two [goals]. For starters, he’s [Havertz] not appalling. This is not the lifetime achievement award.”

Rashford a shadow of former self

Manchester United sat in sixth spot ahead of Saturday’s clash with Newcastle United despite a below-par campaign.

They have been heavily criticised at times, with manager Erik ten Hag coming in for some stick.

However, they have won five of their last six league encounters and remain on course to qualify for Europe.

Whether that is the Champions League or Europa League only time will tell.

The Dutch tactician needs Rashford back to his best. But Bent believes the 26-year-old has yet to reach the heights shown from January to May.

“Last season, after the World Cup, Rashford was unbelievable. I’ve not seen that Rashford since,” he added.

“Right now, give me Kai Havertz over Rashford.”

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