Premier League • England

Ian Wright hails new ‘big-game player’ for Arsenal as price tag concerns ripped up

Kai Havertz, Arsenal legend Ian Wright

Arsenal hero Ian Wright has praised Kai Havertz

Arsenal hero Ian Wright has praised Kai Havertz for ‘turning up in the big games’ for the Gunners after the forward’s latest goal.

Havertz got on the scoresheet for the fourth Premier League game in a row by netting a late winner against Brentford on Saturday. Arsenal had taken the lead in the 19th minute when Declan Rice rose tall from a Ben White cross to head into the bottom corner.

However, Arsenal were pegged back just before half time when Aaron Ramsdale – who replaced the ineligible David Raya – took too long to clear his lines, allowing Yoane Wissa to slide in and equalise for Brentford.

Mikel Arteta’s side appeared to be heading towards a hugely frustrating home draw, which would have seen them lose ground in the title race.

But in the 86th minute, Havertz connected with another White cross to net a dramatic winner and send the Emirates crowd into raptures. That header saw the German take his tally to six goal contributions in his last four league appearances.

During an appearance on Match of the Day, former Arsenal striker Wright praised Havertz by saying:  “Whatever you say, he does turn up in the big games, he does do the business.”

DON’T MISS: Five top-class strikers Arsenal could target this summer – from £17m to £100m superstars

Havertz showed his ability as a big-game player in 2021 by scoring the winner for Chelsea against Manchester City in the Champions League final.

This season, he has scored two crucial winners against Brentford, helping to keep Arsenal on track for the title, while also setting up Gabriel Martinelli for the winner against City back in October.

Arsenal left some fans stunned when they paid £65m for Havertz last summer, after the 24-year-old had failed to live up to his £72m price tag at London rivals Chelsea.

Kai Havertz has ‘turned Arsenal career around’

After a troublesome start, Havertz has now won both Arteta and the Arsenal fans over with several fantastic performances. He is showing exactly why Arsenal paid big money to bring him in.

Indeed, Wright was not the only pundit to praise the attacker after his goal against Brentford.

Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp said: “You sometimes need a moment from a player and when Kai Havertz signed, I know a lot of Arsenal fans would have probably questioned it. Is he the answer?

“He had to really turn it around, win over the fans. It isn’t always easy. But he’s certainly done that right now with important goals.

“The winner today is huge for the team, a fantastic header and his all-round game right now and the way that Arsenal are playing, he’s so influential in how they do it.

“It was a huge, huge moment for the club.”

Manager Arteta added: “I’m so happy [for Havertz]. If somebody told me after the first two or three months that the whole stadium would be singing his song with that passion, with that feeling, with that chemistry, I would have found it hard to believe.

“That’s what happens to good people. He’s an exceptional player. When he starts to score goals like this and everything starts to flow people feel more connected with him.

“They see his work rate, they see his intelligence, they see how he plays for the team and how he’s contributing. It’s impossible not to love him.”

READ MORE – Why Arsenal WILL beat Liverpool and Man City to the Premier League title: Key defensive improvements explained