Does Kai Havertz arrival mean Arsenal will be changing tactics next season?

How Arsenal can use Kai Havertz in his starting line-up

Arsenal’s pursuit of Chelsea forward Kai Havertz has sparked speculation about how he would fit into the team’s lineup. Here, we explore three potential ways the Gunners could line up with Havertz, taking into account their current squad and possible tactical adjustments.

  • Jesus alternative

The first option is to use Havertz as an alternative to Gabriel Jesus, the Brazilian striker who had a significant impact on Arsenal’s game last season.

While the German may not be a natural goalscorer, his ability to bring teammates into play and provide an aerial threat aligns well with Mikel Arteta’s system. This could offer a similar dynamic to Jesus and alleviate Arsenal’s struggles when the Brazilian was sidelined due to injury.

  • Second striker

The second option sees Havertz occupying a second striker role, reminiscent of his successful stint at Bayer Leverkusen. Playing alongside another forward, he can utilize his intelligent runs, float around the forward line, and score goals.

This pairing with Jesus could be effective, but it would require some adjustments to accommodate Martin Odegaard in the starting XI. Odegaard could potentially move out wide, with Bukayo Saka or Gabriel Martinelli serving as alternatives, or he might drop deeper into midfield to replace Granit Xhaka, albeit potentially straining the team defensively.

  • One of the Main Five

The third option takes inspiration from Arteta’s mentor, Pep Guardiola, and suggests that the London outfit could adopt a 3-2-4-1 formation similar to the one used by the English champions.

This would require tactical adjustments and the acquisition of Declan Rice, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal. In this setup, Ben White would shift to center-back, Oleksandr Zinchenko would move into midfield, and Havertz would join Odegaard as one of the attacking midfielders supporting Jesus.

Implementing this strategy might position Arsenal as tough team to break down, thus making them strong contenders for the Premier League title, closely challenging Guardiola’s City once again.

While these three possibilities showcase how Havertz could be integrated into Arsenal’s lineup, it remains to be seen which approach Arteta will choose. The versatility and skill set that Havertz brings make him an intriguing prospect for the Gunners. Ultimately, the success of his signing will depend on how Arteta harnesses his potential and molds the team around him.

Yash Bisht

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Tags Kai Havertz


  1. If he is playing as a striker it’s a waste; be smart and use 65 million on a true striker not a make shift one.

    Jesus presses well, but otherwise not a good striker. Havertz doesn’t improve the 9 slot either.

    Makes more sense for Havertz to take Xhaka’s position, but I believe a true CM for that position is better. Time will tell, but I think we could have done better than 65 million for Havertz.

  2. Kai is an attacking midfield player who will score 15 goals like my hero Robbie Pires.
    Privileged to have met him in Ibiza last summer

    1. My non Arsenal supporting husband went to a fancy dress party wearing my boy’s Arsenal shirt with a snorkel kit !!!! Darkish brown wig and the tell tale Pires beard! Classic

  3. Arteta must have told him something charming to make him like a move to Arsenal. Anyone guess is good. I think he loves being an attaching MF, with his arial threat shown only in some fixtures. He fails many times in front of goal, so not a good stricker definitely. But he has played in many positions, so he can cope with anything, save goalkeeper.

  4. Yes Havertz will be Arsenal tallest outfield player in the middle of the park, his versatility and superior hold up play with his back toward goal will indeed gives the gaffer lots of options.

    Havertz will enable the gaffer to make several tactical switches during a given game, one massive skills Havertz brings to the table, he’s perfect for a striker to feed off.

  5. I am open to see what MA has in store for Havartz, however if it’s as an alternative to Jesus I think it will be a disaster. A second striker, a ten, an eight or even occasionally as a winger I can see that potential. We need a better alternative to Jesus, but that’s not Havartz IMO, oh no!

  6. What Havertz’ best position is I don’t know, but he is definitely not a CF. We need a better alternative to Jesus for sure, but Havertz is not that. 65 million is a one big question mark, but in MA we must trust has a master plan.

  7. Never doubted his ability, just the price and his intestinal fortitude – turns his back too often at free kicks. I would prefer James Maddison at £15m cheaper. Skillful, holds the ball well, scores goals, makes assists, tenacious and is a natural leader which is something we’re short of. Just my opinion and sincerely hope he proves me wrong.

  8. Yes, I also think Havertz will play false-nine and Jesus will play LW when Martinelli is unfit. Jesus could also make a bigger impact as a sub

    1. I can’t say you are wrong but I hope you are. I just don’t see KH that way. Also I am hoping we have a real goal scoring player competing / alternating with Jesus. Like most, I am not sure what KH’s best position is, but a false nine I hope is not where MA see’s his best position. It’s going to be very interesting, and I hope not disappointing, where he finds his role in the team. I could see him as a second striker, a ten, an eight, or even a winger (occasionally) ahead of a false nine. That said, if you consider what Firmino did for Liverpool, between and behind Mane and Salah, you may at the end of the day be right 😃

      1. I suspect he’ll play CF, because we’ve already got too many CMs for the AM positions and Arsenal are still working to sign Rice/ Lavia for the midfield roles

        He also played there for Germany, against Colombia recently

  9. Let Arteta succeeds in complete his planned team 4 upgrade signings this summer first. Of the signings of Declan Rice, Kai Havertz(almost being completed), Jullien Timber and Romeo Lavia. Then us will see how he’ll play/use them in matches next season.
    Ordinarily, Arsenal should get the deals for their signings of Timber and Lavia done over the line without much difficulties in their doing the 2 deals successfully.
    But if at the end of the day, Arsenal does lose out their bid to sign Rice to Man City. (seemingly) I want to believe that Edu and his entourage have a plan B signing in place of equal caliber and profile to Rice. Or even better than his own to fall back to and him. Who could be a hidden potential Cdmf from the full glare of the big top teams for their pursuant to sign. But unearned by Arsenal and quickly signed before he’s hijacked from them. Just as they unearthed Kiwior and signed him quickly to not give the hijackers time and room to unleashed their Venom on them.
    Or alternatively, if possible go back for one of Caicedo or Zubimendi for their Cdmf signing this summer. Or even sign James Maddison at a much cheap cost price signing to that of Rice.
    But certainly he won’t be a down grade to Rice in terms of top quality attributes but of equalled quality attributes to him. Or even better than he has.

  10. Clearly, the thing to do is to have Havertz operate in the Xhaka role, alternating with Smith-Rowe. Keep Balogun and play him and use Jesus to cover the wings when Balo does play. We don’t really need to buy that many players but MA does need to use what he has better.

    I suspect there will be a slight modification to the tactics, but probably not much. Havertz will be a fantastic addition at Arsenal and exactly the right player providing he is used as such. He may one day mature into a RvP type striker but remember Robin didn’t start off as one.

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