Arsenal

Arsenal

Premier League • England

Player ‘brings nothing’ to Arsenal, as Arteta’s use of struggling summer signing questioned by pundit

Jorginho and Kai Havertz of Arsenal, Edson Alvarez of West Ham

Jorginho and Kai Havertz of Arsenal, Edson Alvarez of West Ham

Kai Havertz has been ripped to shreds after his poor display against West Ham United, with one pundit questioning why Mikel Arteta gives him so much game time at Arsenal.

The Gunners raised eyebrows in the summer when they spent £65million to sign Havertz from London rivals Chelsea. It was unclear where Havertz would start in the team given the fact Arteta can already use the likes of Martin Odegaard, Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe in creative midfield positions.

Havertz did play as a centre-forward at times for Chelsea, which led to suggestions he might provide cover and competition for Gabriel Jesus. But Arteta clearly views the German as more of an attacking midfielder, a role he excelled in during his time at Bayer Leverkusen.

So far, Havertz has made 16 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions. His only goal was a penalty against Bournemouth on September 30, which Odegaard gave to him after having already netted a spot-kick earlier in the game.

Havertz did well to set up Gabriel Martinelli’s winner against Manchester City in their next Premier League outing, and this resulted in Ian Wright urging Arteta to start him more often.

The 24-year-old was named in the starting eleven for Arsenal’s League Cup clash against West Ham on Wednesday, though it was a night for both Havertz and Arsenal to forget.

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Strikes from Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen, in addition to a Ben White own goal, saw West Ham dump Arsenal out of the competition in the round of 16 with a 3-1 victory.

Odegaard did net a consolation goal for the North London side in the 96th minute, but by then it was far too late for Arteta’s men to stage a comeback.

Kai Havertz receives major criticism after West Ham performance

While Havertz started the game brightly, he soon began to fade and did not have any real impact for his side. The Evening Standard gave him just a 5/10 for his performance and labelled him ‘anonymous at times’.

During an appearance on talkSPORT, former Tottenham and England striker Darren Bent has questioned why Arsenal ever signed Havertz, as he is seemingly not ‘bringing’ anything to the team.

“Fair play to West Ham, Arsenal [were] not at the races at all tonight,” the pundit said.

“I hate singling out one player but I need someone to explain why £65m was spent on Kai Havertz – and what exactly is he bringing to the team?

“15 games into the season I haven’t seen anything substantial.”

Havertz will be hoping to put in a far better performance in Arsenal’s next game, as they face Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Saturday November 4. Whether Arteta gives him another opportunity in the starting lineup in that match remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s Euro Paper Talk includes Arsenal and Spurs being in the frame to sign a hugely talented Bundesliga ace.