Arteta insists it will take time for Havertz to ‘evolve’ into Granit Xhaka’s role in the Arsenal team

One thing was certain heading into this season: Arsenal would be without their “midfield enforcer,” Granit Xhaka.

Mikel Arteta needed to find a way to replace Xhaka. And after the summer transfer window, it became clear that Kai Havertz was the solution. However, Havertz has struggled to shine in the “Xhaka role” and has failed to build a good midfield partnership with Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice. He has struggled to fill the vacuum left by Xhaka but Arteta was eager to give him game time early in the season, but in recent weeks, he appears to have relegated him to the bench.

Even so, Arteta is certain that Havertz is the right man for the “Xhaka role”, as he stated in his most recent press conference. The Spaniard admitted in his pre-Newcastle press conference that replacing Xhaka, whom they miss, would take time, but fans should be patient with whoever replaces him (Havertz, for sure), as they will be able to move on and develop a stronger midfield with time. “Granit was a key player; he played almost every game for us,” said Arteta via

“We know that it is going to take some time – like it did take him [Xhaka] some time, especially when I changed his role.

“There were a lot of questions about it, and then he evolved in a great way, and here it will happen the same.”

The Arsenal manager was then asked if Havertz was out of form. He blatantly replied, “No, and I’m not gonna pull out any individual, as you’d expect.

“We are a team, and when we play at our best, it’s the team, and when we don’t, I am the one who is the maximum responsible for that.

“We all need to try to improve every single day; that’s it.”

Havertz is a great player who, hopefully, will eventually find his feet at the Emirates and contribute to the Arsenal midfield clicking, sooner rather than later.

Daniel O


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Tags Arteta Havertz Xhaka


  1. I like Havertz but I think he’s costing us , his work rate is poor, he’s got the stamina, height and good speed but he’s costing us,

  2. Those who thinks Havertz was signed out of Mikel’s cluelesness sure have no clue what football is fast evolving into. To be justified before the end of this season.

    1. I hope you’re right – we need to see some signs of him heading in the right direction, though. At the moment he looks a bit stuck, almost comfortable. It could be that he suddenly clicks and his true quality (which I’ve no doubt is in there) starts to shine through, but until something like that happens, it’s natural that such an expensive signing would be questioned.

    2. How long to wait for him to click. 3 years he is playing in EPL and the Discarded player Arteta bought for 65M instead of utilizing that fund for more combative powerful mid.

  3. I take no pleasure been critical of Arsenal players, but time could be running out on the big German.

    He has to do something and buy vital time, go down easily in the box, win us a controversial penalty, score a last minute header deep in extra time, he has to do something before somthing do him.

  4. Can’t Arteta just admit he made a mistake, like he did with Willan, P
    Auba, Tiernay, Nketiah and then we move on.

  5. With his poor work rate, he will never replace Granit. May be at the CF or AM he can perform decently which will give us some interested buyers. Then As usual Arteta can give him to other club by paying his salary. that is the norm under Arteta. Looks like Arteta has some secrets of Kronke otherwise he would have sacked as of now.

    1. This is high pressure trolling @GBH….

      In the last 3 days you have had comments coming thick and fast including… Arteta will land Arsenal in financial trouble without winning anything

      Arteta is a fool. Why to take that Gamble

      In few years Arteta will land Arsenal in big financial trouble

      The Problem is Arteta

      Arteta should be sacked. With him Arsenal will not succeed

      Arteta should be sacked

      Arteta is achieving nothing. He is clueless.

      Arteta is not achieving any objective here.

      Why not remove Arteta and his crew for buying such craps

      Fraud is not Havertz, Fraud is Arteta

      The Problem is Arteta the confused manager.

      I may be wrong (lol) but it seems you don’t like the guy, but you have trolled enough I’m afraid. Goodbye

      1. ‘Trolling’, to my mind, is saying things (usually things you don’t believe, but i suppose not always) with the intention of inciting a negative reaction from others. I don’t think these are necessarily examples of trolling tbh. It looks to me like someone who just doesn’t like arteta at all… Haven’t seen any previous posts so could be missing something, but the apparent consistency suggests sincerity?

        1. Hi Davi, I have asked him to stop being repetitive and to detail exactly WHY he thinks he should be sacked and/or who should replace him, but just continual slandering arrives. Here is one complete comment “Arteta should be sacked. With him Arsenal will not succeed. We go 1 step ahead and 2 behind.”

          How can that be considered a “comment” in the accepted sense of any word. And as I said he is doing comments like this many times every day. That to me is an intention of inciting a negative reaction from others, as you defined it..

          1. Pat though I do see DAVI’s point, I have to say that GBH, seems to my mind to have a perfsonal anti Arteta compulsion, for reasons possibly he does not even fully understand himself.
            What I have often noted, esp in MA earlier period, was that many who could not bring themselves to EVER say a single positive word about him, were still YEARNING for the days of AW.

            Many have never reconciled themselves to the fact AW left us five and a half years ago and, no matter what has happened since then, in life ALL sensible people move on and live in the present, not the past.

            It is perfectly possible , possibly even likely, that GBH fits into that category.
            Worth thinking about, at least I suggest. Though he writes as a troll would , I doubt he is one, in truth.

          2. Appreciate the clarification, Pat. I think my point of contention is still the definition of troll/trolling, however it sounds like this person is being a bit hardheaded and not following the direction you want for the site.

              1. Reggie
                He doesn’t give opinions like you for example. He is shouting slogans. Much like when I had to stop multiple comments that said Sack Wenger over and over. Its NOT an opinion. It’s a slogan.
                I want to hear a reason why he wants a manager that is unbeaten after ten league games to be sacked. Don’t you?

                1. But admin, he isn’t on his own at not giving reasons. I dont agree with everything he puts but he says what he thinks. We have a couple on here who are completely the other way as far as Arteta and Arsenal is concerned,
                  cant see any wrong . They give no reasons, just say what they think. It works both ways, if we like it or not.

                2. Hi Admin Pat,

                  May be I am not posting my thought correctly and fully but commented in bits and pieces.
                  but I have nothing against Arteta. You see these kind of response because of my frustration about going backwards from last year’s performances even after spending lavishly.

                  But Below are my few reasons for it.
                  Just Think The nations or clubs sometimes gets generational talents. Which if they use correctly then achieves some bigger things.
                  Recent examples:
                  Spain 2010, Germany 2014, France 2018 and 2022 (Lost in final). But Belgium could not achieve anything significant although in last decade they have producing most talents.

                  Likewise Arsenal currently has got good talents like Saliba, Saka, Martinelli, Odegard, Gabril M, Smith Rowe, Rice, Partey, White, Jesus, Tomiyasu. These can be starters in any big club.
                  Then some decent ones like Terniey, Nelson, Trossard, Niketiah, Ramsdale, Zinchenko, Kiwior.

                  This season All he had to do was fill the missing parts from last season to make a improved squad.
                  He needed a
                  1. Strong CF
                  2. Strong CM
                  3. Versatile Cover for RB
                  4. Backup for Saka

                  Money was there. And after spending so much all he did was
                  3. Versatile Cover for RB (Unfortunately he got injured, its not Arteta’s fault).
                  Yes He bought Rice but it covers only Granit’s position, so technically he did not add anything there.

                  He Could have bought a decent CF (like Kalo Muani, and few other playing in Germany) if not Top class like Victor Osimhen (if budget was issue).
                  This would have two problem We would have got CF and G Jesus would have become cover for anywhere front 4.

                  For CM he would have bought player like Bruno Guimaraes (I understand Newcastle would not have sold him, But Arteta needed to find his alternative. Liverpool bought Mac Allister below 40M ). James Madison may have also worked. even James Ward Prowse would have worked for now. and promote some one like Patino for cup games.

                  But Arteta’s bought the Cheski Flop Havertz for 65M fee and made him highest wage player. Everyone know how he performed in last 3 years and at the moment he is not suitable for CM job in EPL. This has taken us back and allowed Chelsea to get Fund for a discarded player.

                  This also proves my point about Arteta as confused is. Arteta has discarded Ozil, Auba because of work rate like issues then How he thought that a lethargic player like Havertz is a solution for CM. In fact It has another situation like Ozil, Auba (At least those were assisting/producing goals).

                  Looks like mostly he tries to copy Pep G.
                  For few games in staring this season he played plyers out of position like Partey at RB, White at CB. No overlapping fullback to support wingers etc.
                  He bought Raya the keeper with so many mistakes only his passing is good (Do you think overall he is big upgrade over Ramsdale). Yes he is ok as a loan player. I suspect its kind of mandatory buy at next season as the Brentford is not fool (like Arteta) to loan his asset in last year of contract to go free. There is something more behind this deal.

                  Now the Financials.
                  How much players Arteta has given free or rather paid them to leave. I am not talking about Mustafi/Sockratis but some saleable assets.

                  – M Guindiuzi sold only for 9M (his price was way more)
                  – Auba, we paid to leave him and latter Barca sold him to Chelsea. He lost 50M here. Everybody new he was not Arteta’s type CF but the confused Arteta instead of selling him gave him big contract and created Ozil 2.0 situation. and paid to leave in 6 months.
                  – M Niles, He rejected 20M only to not play him latter
                  – Pepe, Don’t tell me he was flop, He has way better stats than Havertz. Any decent manager would have used him properly and protected his value and got 40M at least for him.
                  – He bought Cedric Sores, then not playing him , eventfully get paid for nothing

                  I believe as per Arteta’s handling we will not get anything for K Terney and the Belgian on Loan.
                  Even we will not get anything for Zinchenko as he has become liability now.

                  Before Arteta our academy was producing at least 1 decent player every year.
                  Saka, Martinelli (Bought with small fee), Smith Rowe, Niketiah, Nelson, Balogun, Matland Niles, Iwobi, Wilshere, Fabregas, Bellerin , Ramsay. etc

                  Arteta is not giving any chances to any academy player (Don’t tell me in last 3 years academy could not produce any capable player to even play in cup competitions.)
                  Arteta has only played youngsters when he has exhausted with all his options of playing his flops.
                  – Remember the Willian saga it was obvious to everyone he was blocking Smith Rowe and Martinelli
                  – Remember Arteta has not registered Saliba that year (Don’t tell me he was not ready as backup player also). It was like we almost loose him due to Arteta’s ego.
                  He needs to pick at least 1 youngster at a time and play him with 1st team that way they will be ready.

                  Any ways his team is getting knocked out in cup competitions so what’s the harm in trying some talents. Unless you try how we will know about their readiness.

                  Arsenal is Not a club like City/Chelsea with endless funds. Its always like producing some from academy, bought some value for money gems then and buy a missing pieces and sustain the title challenge.

                  Look at Briton they every year sell their stars yet able to compete.

                  With some Fund infusion why arsenal can’t do it.

                  Don’t be fooled by the last year’s success this years unbeatable record. Last year Liverpool Chelsea, Tottenham and ManU were in some rebuilding phase. So it was easy 2nd position for us.
                  This year Tottenham, Liverpool, City all looking better than us without spending less than us. In that race add to Newcastle and Aston Villa also. and of course Cheslea and ManU have endless fund they will keep buying and eventually leap frog us if we will stick with Arteta’s confused madness.
                  I see ManU only as worst in terms of Fund used and not winning significant.

                  Now just wait a month and see if overall teams play gets better. if not and we lose few more then Sack Arteta and buy The Briton coach with all his scouts.

                  With this Young Team and spending we have done there is no excuse for not challenging for titles. Any decent manager with this liberty would have done better than Arteta.

                  I think, I have given enough reason.
                  I am Happy to prove wrong but the way Arteta has wasted funds I am not hopeful.

  6. I imagine that agreat nuber of us onJA regularly tune intoi MA ;s press conferences. I do so regularly and constantly see an amiable, though easily seen by true people watchers, DETERMINATION to say as little as humanly possible to answer the direct questions asked by Journos present.

    MA, like many other top managers is desperate to keep IMPORTANT team info, to himsels and his trusted lieutenants inside the training ground.
    In short he is skilled in speaking amiably, while saying little or even NOTHING to answer fans and journos questions.
    All that having been noted, I now address the puzzle of HOW MA ever truly thought that the non dynamism so eviden tin HAVERTZ could EVER replace thr extrovert and highly committed Xhaka.
    IMO, Havaertz is also a polar opposite in so many ways to Xhaka. One was an obvious extrovert, impacting games, both for good and bad during his seven years here. And always TOTALLY COMMITTED to the team.

    Havertz, in stark contrast, is a non impactful introvert who seems totally devoid of any self confidence and belief in his ability.
    My conclusion then about MA saying HAVERT IS Xhakas replacement?
    Either MA is out of his mind and fooling himself, which he is not, OR which is the truth IMO, MA is deliberately and for whatever reasons of his own, telling huge “porkies”!
    Most of us were not born yesterday. I certainly was NOT!

  7. Havertz to replace Xhaka? Perhaps as a player to fill out a lineup but nothing else. Like or dislike Xhaka, let’s give him credit where it is due; so consider these

    1. Xhaka is a leader, is Havertz?

    2. Xhaka ALWAYS gave 100%, commitment and intensity, has Havertz a similar reputation? I think not.

    3. Xhaka never hid, never faded into a passenger during games, he demanded the ball and was a driving force.
    Has Havertz ever shown these qualities?

    4. Xhaka was physical when required, never backed down, and was the steel in midfield we lacked for years. Havertz will never embody these traits.

    Xhaka was not the B2B midfielder to lead us to titles, we miss his leadership and needed an upgrade.

    Unfortunately, Havertz is a step backwards, and anyone trying to sell a different narrative is blind to reality.

    Havertz was a mistake like Willian was a mistake. Shocking how he continues to get showcased for doing nothing and Pepe, for example, was frozen out and banished.

    So far I’d say Havertz a bigger flop than Pepe, yet still not at the level of Willian poor. Willian was the most shocking failure to suit up I’ve seen in the last decade, possibly more.

  8. Havertz is a conundrum, undoubtedly a skillful footballer but neither Tuchel, Potter and now, Arteta have worked out his best position. I don’t think even Havertz knows the answer. Imo he will always struggle in the EPL and as for taking on the Xhaka role is sheer wishful thinking. He will never have his desire or commitment. There are times he actually looks bored. Are we actually paying him £330k a week???
    Chelsea got away with one there!!

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