Paul Merson tells Arteta how to get the best out of “struggling” Havertz

According to Paul Merson, Kai Havertz is playing in the wrong position, which is why he is failing to impress.

Havertz, according to the ex-Arsenal pundit, is not a midfielder; he is a striker, and the closest thing he is to a midfielder is a No. 10, not a No. 8.

Last season, the German was one of the most expensive transfers in Arsenal’s history. Arsenal paid roughly £65 million for him, but he has only had one goal and one assist in 19 outings with the Gunners.

According to Merson, if Arteta played Havertz as a striker or as a No. 10, he might make him more efficient. “He’s struggling a bit,” Merson told Sky Sports. “He had a shot that got blocked; if you’ve got four in four, you hit that and it gets deflected or you hit it sweetly and it goes in.

“I feel sorry for him. I don’t think he’s a midfield player. I think he’s a centre forward. He’s 6ft 4in, maybe he’s a No. 10.

“What he did do and they did well, Arsenal; they got the ball in the box and he got in the box.

“He’s a big lad. I hope he does well. I think he’s a special player and he’s struggling. Everyone struggles in their career and he’s having that moment at the moment and hopefully he gets through it.”

Kai Havertz will need to find his form at some point. He must reciprocate all of Arteta’s faith in him. The Arsenal manager sanctioned his contract, imagining what he’d bring to the squad, and he’s continued to play him in the hope that he’ll one day display what he saw in him when he signed him.

Regarding swapping positions, I believe Arteta should take Merson’s advice; it may be the only way to see his No. 29 thrive.

Daniel O

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  1. The player is a dud, his percentile stats as a striker are one of the worst in Europe. He is never a striker, that is all Arsenal need, a dud as a striker. I like you Paul but your mouth has engaged before your brain. We need top players, not pretenders. Stupid idea, have you seen him?

    1. For Reggie
      I think we are mostly in agreement that he has been a poor purchase. Personally I would have preferred to work with Nicolas Pepe to try and get a tune out of him.
      Now that we are stuck with him you may as well use him as a striker as there is no No.10 in our team. He can be our lump like Ollie Mcburnie at Sheffield Utd.
      I would not use him in midfield, defence or goalkeeper. So striker is the only possible role for him in selected games for hold up play.

      1. If he isn’t good enough (which he isn’t) i just wouldn’t use him. Pop him on the subs bench and make him earn his starts. Why play him when he gives you nothing of note?

        1. I agree Trossard plays in front of him and agree he does not deserve to start. But a sub where we may need to go for long balls is the only situation we could use this lump and hope he develops into a Giroud (more hope than belief).

  2. I have to be honest here. When everyone or when most folks were saying that there definitely is a player in there who probably just needs confidence and a stronger system to work in Hearing that I was confident that Mikel would get the best out of him and it’d be only a matter of time before Havertz looks a really astute signing. But the more I watch Havertz and I usually pay close attention to him during matches, well the more I watch him the more I am worried that he just doesn’t suit PL football.

    I’m even starting to ask where is the player, the technical player that people say is definitely in there but just needs confidence and coaching in a specific role, that thing that gives you hope that he’ll succeed. I’m not seeing it and I hope it’s just me, and Arteta knows what he’s doing regarding Havertz. I also hope if Arteta was wrong well then he won’t be too long in conceding defeat, one window should tell us more. That is how I honestly feel regarding Havertz

    1. I dont think he is as good as some think. I never have, these last 4 years, that i have witnessed him. Very poor buy and we are paying dearly for it.

  3. Getting rid of him would be the best.
    Truly a terrible player.
    What on earth Arteta was thinking to buy him beggar’s belief ?

  4. This pundit should be telling Arteta to play Trossard in his place and not telling him how to get the best out of someone who is not psychologically inspired. Play him from the bench and give him time if you must.

    SHOULD TROSSARD BE SITTING ON THE BENCH with 5 goals 2 assists in 13 games while Havertz with 1 goal and 1 assist in 18 games is a regular?

    Havertz is part of the reason we no longer play a smooth football. We are 1 man less with him on the pitch

  5. One special thing about Havertz is that he is consistently getting into goal-scoring positions which is a skill in itself. There’s no one in the current Arsenal squad who has that kind of skillset. The problem is that so far he has been unable to convert these chances that he generates through his intelligent movement,presumably due to lack of confidence.

    About Merson’s suggestion, Arsenal doesn’t really play with a number 10 in the traditional sense. In fact, the teams that still use a conventional 10 are in the minority these days. That said,I think Havertz has looked a lot more comfortable in the right half space that is usually occupied by Odegaard compared to the left. I think it’s also worth trying Odegaard on the left- might just get the best out of Martinelli. Havertz/ Martinelli is just not a good tandem in my opinion. On the other hand, there are many reasons why Havertz/ Saka could work.

    1. One irrational signing that we have to tweak and tweak some more to accommodate, sacrificing our fluidity in the process. Really says it all

      1. Our lack of fluidity has nothing to do with Havertz in my opinion. There are games in which he hasn’t started and we lacked fluidity still.It says a lot more about the system we are using this season than any individual players.

        1. All the unnecessary tweaking and having to play with 10.5 men too often when Havertz is in the team have put us out of sync. Hopefully we can leave Havertz out for a prolong run of games when Odegaard and Partey return. That should help us get our rhythm back

  6. The earlier we wake up from our long slumber the better, as for me the number of games given to him is enough to justify his worth and he hasn’t been impressive for all that while, i think it’s higher time we should stop pretending and do the needful otherwise this mispriority we are seeing and we are not taking so serious is capable of derailing our season.

  7. If Merson has such faith in Havertz he should be pushing for his beloved Chelsea to take him back.
    Onyango, what nonsense Havertz is the only player in our squad who is consistently getting into goal-scoring positions.

  8. If the plan was to play havertz as a striker I’m sorry to say I’m starting the arteta out. You don’t sell a player like balogun to buy and use havertz as a striker. Plus trossard should never be on the bench if havertz is in the field. We should cut our losses and promote some youngsters in his place. Arteta played Ethan nwaneri last season just for clout. He don’t believe in promoting hale end boys. If players like Cole Palmer can ball in the premiership why not promote cozier dobb next saka

  9. “He’s is a big lad, a hope he does well, I think he’s a special player and he’s struggling ”

    The German is a big lad alright and even in terms of his accomplishments at a tender age, its huge.

    But am in agreement with Paul Merson, the big German maybe more suited to lead the front line all things considered

  10. Strikers are called strikers because they score goals.

    HAVERTZ, whatever he is , if anything at all worthwhile, which is NOT the case, is certainly NOT a striker. Nor does he assist.

      1. No . It is simply because he is not good enough to play at top Prem level, as he showed for three years when at Chelsea.
        Whatever prompted MA to buy him is a mystery . AND A HUGE MISTAKE!

    1. He has been tried in every attacking position during his 3 years at Chelsea but sadly didn’t make the cut at any. So yes, whatever he is, we probably need football to invent a new position for him

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