Premier League • England

Mikel Arteta mocked for ‘wasting’ millions on summer flop: ‘Not all of Arsenal’s spending makes sense to me’

Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta reacts after Brighton's Julio Enciso scored his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion at Emirates stadium in London, Sunday, May 14, 2023

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been accused of wasting millions on summer signing Kai Havertz, having already come in for so much criticism over the addition of the Germany international.

Plenty of eyebrows were raised when the Gunners forked out £65million to bring in the Chelsea misfit after three years of struggles at Stamford Bridge.

Havertz was added to the squad as a replacement for Granit Xhaka, with Arteta feeling that the 24-year-old is better as a midfielder rather than the attacking role he had in west London.

He has yet to register a goal or an assist in his six appearances for Arsenal so far and was dropped to the bench at Everton last weekend.

However, Havertz did look much brighter in the Champions League thumping of PSV in midweek.

But despite that improved display, Liverpool legend Graeme Souness is not surprised to see the German not exactly excelling in the red and white.

He told the Daily Mail: “Not all of Arsenal’s spending makes sense to me. They’ve laid out £65million on Kai Havertz.

“Surely you’re not spending that kind of money on what he’s shown at Chelsea in the past three seasons?

“They’ve shelled out in the hope that Mikel Arteta can get a very, very different tune out of him than Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel or Graham Potter ever did. Good luck with that one, Mikel.”

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Only two stats matter for Souness

Souness also feels that only certain stats should be used when assessing a player’s quality, rather than the multiple that are registered.

He added: “We live in a world where stats have become a very popular part of the game for the anoraks. But historically only two stats provide a judgment in black and white terms.

“For a goalkeeper: how many games have you played and how many clean sheets did you keep? And for a striker: how many games have you played and how many goals did you score?

“Havertz has scored 19 Premier League goals across the entirety of three seasons for Chelsea. Please draw your own conclusions.”

Having played well on Wednesday evening, there is a strong chance that Havertz gets the nod for Sunday’s north London derby clash against Tottenham.

However, Arteta could also turn to Fabio Vieira’s greater engine for that game as the Gunners look to leapfrog their rivals with a win.

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