Former Arsenal captain William Gallas has hit out at Kai Havertz once again, making it clear he always felt that signing the Germany international from Chelsea in the summer was a mistake.
Gallas, who played for both Chelsea and Arsenal in his career in the Premier League, did not hold back with his views on Havertz, saying he just can’t see the 24-year-old having what it takes to succeed in Mikel Arteta’s system.
This comes as Gallas admitted he was shocked to see Havertz being used as a makeshift left-back by Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann in their recent defeat against Turkey.
Havertz scored for Germany in that game, but Gallas feels it is not a good sign, and was also critical of the decision from Nagelsmann, saying it came across as disrespectful towards the player.
Still, Arsenal fans may well share Gallas’ concerns with Havertz as he’s just not looked a good fit for the Gunners at all so far, despite Arteta showing a huge amount of faith in him by bringing him in from Chelsea for big money.
“At twenty-four, Kai Havertz is playing as a left back four his country? Seriously? Something is very wrong,” the former France defender told Genting Casino, as quoted by the Metro.
“I don’t know what to say about this. For me, to make this decision, it seems like Nagelsmann doesn’t respect Havertz as a player. Havertz has spent his entire career playing as an attacking player and then you put him in at left back?
“I really don’t know what to say about this decision…. I’m completely confused. I’m trying to think about it from the player’s point-of-view…this doesn’t look good. I don’t like this decision from the manager. This is a complete lack of respect from the manager.”
On Havertz’s suitability for Arsenal, he added: “I said at the beginning of the season that Kai Havertz would struggle for Arsenal. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but he is still struggling. I think it was always going to be difficult for Havertz to adapt to the way that Arsenal play and the way that Mikel Arteta wants to use him.
“I don’t think he was the type of player that Arsenal needed to sign in the summer. When you look at the squad, in my opinion, there were different types of players that they should have prioritised. It looks like it was a mistake to sign him.”
Havertz never quite got going at Chelsea, despite looking like such an exciting prospect while he was at Bayer Leverkusen, so it is a bit of a puzzle as to what Arteta might have seen in him at Stamford Bridge that convinced him to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal have mostly used Havertz in midfield, despite him playing up front for Chelsea, but it’s fair to say he hasn’t excelled in either role during his time in English football.
Gallas may be a tad outspoken in his style, but it’s hard to argue with the substance of what he’s saying as Arsenal surely could have done better to spend that money on a more clinical finisher than Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, or else a more direct replacement for Granit Xhaka, who was one of the team’s most important players last season and who has continued to perform at an excellent level at his new club Bayer Leverkusen.