Are we still not sure where Havertz will fit into Arsenal’s system yet?

If you ask any Gooner where he sees Kai Havertz playing at Arsenal, they will tell you the midfield. If you ask where he’ll be in the midfield, you’ll probably be told he’ll take over the Granit Xhaka role.

Havertz replacing Xhaka in Arteta’s line-up is what many expect, but is it so? Will the German play as one of Arsenal’s double-eights? The footy expert Dean Jones thinks Havertz may play an attacking midfielder role, but he sees Arsenal using a different formation than last season. Havertz has not seemed confident in playing the role Xhaka played last season, as seen in the already played pre-season’s (before the Barca pre-season), and knowing he hasn’t lived up to the expectations he has allegedly discussed with Arteta about him tweaking his midfield role to suit his abilities, of which Jones says the Arsenal boss has obliged.

“As an eight, I quite like him. I’m told that we should expect Arteta to slightly alter the shape next season; it won’t be the same setup as last season; it has been modified in pre-season, and that is so Kai has a defined role that he fits into more easily than it would look when you see the team Arsenal used last season,” Jones said on Ranks FC Podcast.

Jones’ claims have a point, as some days ago, Arteta rightfully admitted that Havertz isn’t here to replace Xhaka, meaning he had other plans for the ex-Blue:

“He’s not a replacement [for Xhaka]. He’s not gonna be like-for-like because everybody’s going to be very different to what Granit gave us.

“It will be very different, but Kai has tremendous qualities for our way of playing.”

It will be interesting to see how Arteta sets up his midfield next season; it could be an element of surprise that may catch many teams napping before they understand what’s going on with Arsenal’s midfield.

I’m sure we’ll find out where Arteta sees Havertz playing when the new season gets under way…

Darren N

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Tags Arteta Havertz


  1. Havertz should rotate with Odegaard or play just behind the striker, the gaffer have to stop him from going missing and he will win the game for Arsenal.

  2. Havertz is a strange signing, exactly like Vieira last season = more urgent positions required to fill in and we spent money on position we’re quite packed.

    1. what is the more urgent position? I dont see a position we “NEED TO UPGRADE” without spending big sum, so all upgrades cannot come at once

  3. Yeah, he’s playing xhaka’s position, but doing it differently, because he has very different abilities. Could improve our attack, could weaken our defence. If it ruins our team structure, it will weaken both, but arteta knows all this.
    If we want to replace and even improve on the xhaka role, I think rice is or our man, but it seems like arteta wants to try with havertz first.

    1. Allow me a cheeky comment
      I think it looks partey remains our number 6 till Rice takes over. For the start of the season it looks like we have spent a 170 mil to replace xhaka.
      He was an important first team member after all.

      1. That’s how it should be imo, but we’ll see what arteta does. I will not be shocked if partey starts on the bench in the charity shield.

  4. The position best suited to him is rotation with Odegaard. If we don’t play double pivot with Partey and Rice we’ll leak goals. Partey showed against Barcelona how important he’s to the team.

  5. You might see the fullbacks – Timber, Zinchenko, even White and Tomiyasu pushing into midfield to provide defensive cover when Havertz or Odegaard are moving forward. Interesting…

  6. Firstly, we need to get off his back and give him time to settle.

    It’s a new club, new system, new team mates, and new manager, so he’ll need time to adapt. Even the greats like Henry and Bergkamp started poorly, and needed time.

    It may only be friendlies, but 2 goals in 3 games is an excellent start.

    1. Considering he is Premier League ready, what is the acceptable time for him to adjust in your opinion?

      The examples you have given are not good. Both came from Serie A, a league notorious for defensive football at least in their time. The reason DB10 left Inter was lack of attacking football. He had to adjust to the new league and he stated he had some kind of mental block in the beginning (caused by defensive football in my opinion). TH14 was a winger. He had to adapt to a new league and a new role.

  7. Too much attention to new players. Our tactics were not defined by them but by the old players. You know why Odegaard and Havertz struggled so far in pre-season matches? Because Zinchenko was not playing. The mercurial fullback is unavailable to do what no other player in the world can do. His inverted role and outrageous technique makes our midfield unstoppable. We can somehow find or train someone to be Xhaka, but Zinchenko’s brain should be in a museum. Timber, Kiwior and Partey are not good enough yet. Pre-season training often involves physical and mental training. And as the season goes, more training will be focussed on technique and tactics.

  8. Having failed to last the pace last season due to our defensive frailties,it would seem logical to firm up our central midfield buying deploying Partey and Rice in the engine room with either Odegaard or Havertz in the number 10 role where the latter excelled during his time in Germany.Odegaard cannot be expected to start every match despite being our nominated Captain and as in other positions rotation is essential if we are to avoid burning out certain players such as Saka and Martinelli.Havertz is a class act who has the talent to adapt to circumstances and link play in tight situations and contrary to the belief of one or two on JA he is not slow.Indeed I believe he was ranked in the top three for Chelsea in terms of his sprint times.The fact that he is tall and elegant in movement may give the impression that he is slow,but that is not the case.In any event, I am confident he will go on to prove to be a very good acquisition.

    1. Strongly agree Grandad, from what have seen the German is neither slow or lazy in fact far from it.

    2. Same here, not sure where the “slow and lazy” remark came from when it’s quite the opposite.Think they were deceived by his looks lol.

  9. Havertz needs time to adapt to the system. There is no doubt he is a prolific player and therefore needs time.

  10. I think Havertz played much better last night.
    It’s not only about his position though, the fact that Timber played left hand side helped him. It seems that everyone is ahead of Tierney in the LB position.

  11. I think Havertz will continually interchange with our CFs(jesus and trossard specifically cos of their dropping deep ability) during games especially against weaker teams which makes him a hybrid (playmaker(8) and CF(towering 9 we’ve been craving for to collect or convert those wicked crosses).it will surely be a very exciting gameplay to watch, must be part of the drills going on in training.

  12. Havertz buy makes no sense if you ask me, we already have Odigaard Rowe, Trosaad even Nielson bringing him will still push Rowe’s development back after all at the end he is just a back up just like Rowe. Arteta should have gone for a number nine like Mitrovic to help the physical bit of premier league defenders. Otherwise he is the coach, he knows best his plans.

  13. Havertz is already LOGJAM for us Fans Right now as we are Arguing on his Best position.
    Honestly, he is a MISTAKE buy.🙁
    Partey, Rice and Odegaard are our 3 main midfielders.
    He can’t play as a Right winger or Left winger.😒
    So he is Left, competing with Gabriel Jesus as our main Striker.
    And can Arteta bench Gabriel Jesus for him?😕
    I just pray he does NOT complicate our season. 😒😔

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