Mikel Arteta insists that Kai Havertz is “not a replacement” for Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka has departed Arsenal for Bayer Leverkusen. Gooners would have liked the Swiss to stay another season after his fantastic performance last season, but that was not feasible. Gooners have already accepted the 30-year-old’s departure.

Kai Havertz is thought to be his replacement, but is he?

Mikel Arteta suggests that we shouldn’t burden Havertz with the tag of being Xhaka’s replacement, saying in his after game conference: : “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.”

The Arsenal boss also insinuated he has yet to decide where to field the German, saying, “We will see. We have to see how he adapts and get to know each other, and build relationships. Football is about that, and time will tell where he sees best.”

Mikel Arteta’s comments may be “revealing”, but who knows? It could simply be his way of protecting the 24-year-old. Havertz is under a lot of pressure to prove himself after a lukewarm performance in the Premier League with Chelsea; therefore, Arteta could be trying to ease some of the pressure that the media and football fans are putting on him. Anyway, after his Arsenal debut versus Nurnberg (the game ended 1-1), Havertz admitted, “I’m proud to finally be here.

“Obviously, it was maybe not the best game in the second half, but I am very happy to be part of this group, and it’s going to be a process, and I’m going to give everything.”

It now seems clear that Arteta has a completely new tactical plan for the coming season, and hopefully they will now be completely unpredictable for opposing teams to prepare for. Wherever Havertz plays, I am sure we are in for an exciting season ahead…

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Tags Granit Xhaka Havertz


  1. If truly the coach doesn’t know where to play him then he should start questioning himself as a coach.

    1. Il y a de grandes chances qu’il va trouver la solution. Solution, par rapport au reste de l’équipe.
      Je le mettrai en soutien de l’avant centre.
      Havertz a aussi un bon jeu de tête, ça peut aider l’équipe, devant.

    2. Lenohappy
      Exactly what I was thinking.

      So Arteta spends 70 million and not sure where to play him? Hopefully he’s just not giving away his tactics instead of big spending without a position in mind.

      Seems you have a position in mind when you spend 70 million and pay massive wages. Otherwise it’s exactly what Chelsea did.

  2. Can’t see Harvertz playing Xhaka role. He hasn’t got the defensive capability to play there. I can see him fighting it out with Odegaard. Rice replaces Xhaka and plays with Partey if he stays.

  3. A keep saying the gaffer need a season hand beside him in the dugout.
    Arsenal could hire Harry Redknapp to replace Steve Round.

    The best formation for Havertz is right behind the striker in a 4 ;2 : 3 : 1 set up.

    Saying he doesn’t knows where to play the German does not inspire confidence.

  4. There’s no other place to play him than from the bench..
    Harvertz signing will be typical Viera signing of last season

    Anytime Arteta makes a signing we don’t need that transfer usually flops just like Lokonga, Viera, Willian etc.

    Till tomorrow I will never see the sense behind this Harvertz deal

  5. That Harvertz money could have easily given us Jacob Ramsey or James Maddison
    All better options

  6. Just because Arteta refuse to let his card out on where Harvertz will play does not make him dumb its just one preseason game and we have start name calling and pulling players down.
    Let the the season starts everything will be clear to all.
    No way coach will buy a layer he himflself recommend to the board don’t know where to play him.
    Let get our Thinking straight 🙄🙄

  7. Some of us where calling for the club to sign a tall attacking player with good aerial ball control. Now he’s here, some of us don’t realize the dimension he would add to our game.

  8. My initial reaction to the Havertz deal was that he would be deployed centrally as an option to Jesus and slightly ahead of Nketiah. For me, that’s the only way the deal makes sense.
    I also agree that the £65m fee Arsenal agreed for him is painfully underwhelming tbh

  9. Change of system 3. 2..4..1
    Timber saliba gabby
    White. Rice
    Saka. Hava. Ode Martin

  10. There will be more pressing than last season and there will be more possession than last season our levels will go up a couple of notches looking at some of the stats this is my prediction

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