Premier League • England

Unfairly maligned Arsenal signing ‘actually adds’ something as pundit points to low confidence

Arsenal have attained extra efficiency by bringing Kai Havertz into their setup, despite widespread confusion about the summer signing’s role, a pundit has claimed.

Havertz joined Arsenal from Chelsea in the summer transfer window after three seasons at Stamford Bridge. During his time in the Premier League so far, it has been hard to determine what the Germany international’s best role actually is.

Therefore, eyebrows were raised when Arsenal forked out £65 million to sign him from their London rivals – especially when it has entailed adapting an entire system that had led the club to second spot in the Premier League last season.

However, former Arsenal forward Kevin Campbell believes Havertz – who scored his first Arsenal goal from the penalty spot against Bournemouth on Saturday – has merely been low on confidence, exposing missing aspects of his game.

That said, he is adding things to the side that his critics are ignoring because of the negatives they are focusing on.

“There’s talk about shoehorning Kai Havertz in and it not working. I don’t know what people expect because Arsenal are unbeaten and they’re back in the Champions League” Campbell told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Yes, they’ve dropped points at home against Fulham and Spurs but apart from that I think Arsenal are trying to do it efficiently.

“For me, Havertz is lacking in confidence and I understand all the flack. But he actually adds efficiency that Arsenal lacked last season.

“A lot of people will not give him credit because he cost £65m and he should be scoring five to 10 goals a week. It doesn’t work like that.

“It’s a new system, he’s got to understand how Arsenal play.”

Arsenal addition has to prove himself again

Havertz only ever scored 32 goals from 139 games for Chelsea, despite being moulded into a false nine. Many still feel Arsenal need an out-and-out centre-forward to take them to the next level.

The 24-year-old is well aware of what his detractors have been saying, but during the September international break, he told German reporters that it isn’t bothering him.

“Sure, things like that keep you busy,” he said.

“But I’ve often had a phase and that you often only see the negative. It’s not the first club where I’m starting over.

“Of course, you want to be successful as quickly as possible, but I know that there are phases like that. I try to approach it in a relaxed manner.”

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