Mikel Arteta explains why he has U-turned on his plan for Kai Havertz
Posted by  badge Boss on Apr 08
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side coasted to a 3-0 win over Brighton (Picture: Getty)

all but he has changed his mind on his original plan for after the star played a key role in his side’s 3-0 win over Brighton.

The Gunners, temporarily at least, returned to the summit following one of their most impressive away performances of the season.

Bukayo Saka put the visitors on the way to another three points with a first half penalty, before Havertz and Leandro Trossard put the gloss on a convincing win with second half strikes.

Despite the return to full fitness of Gabriel Jesus, Havertz was again chosen to lead the line and delighted in the opportunity to showcase his talents that are so well appreciated by his manager and teammates alike.

Upon his arrival from Chelsea in the summer, eyebrows were raised when Arteta initially revealed he planned to deploy Havertz in midfield as a replacement for the long-serving Granit Xhaka.

Understandably, Havertz struggled to adapt to a new role and there appeared a danger he would end up suffering the same fate that befell him at Stamford Bridge where he became a victim of his versatility.

An injury to Jesus, however, forced Arteta to experiment with Havertz in a false nine role and he has hardly looked back since the turn of the year, to the extent whereby he is almost undroppable.

Kai Havertz scored and assisted in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Brighton (Picture: Getty)

‘I think you have to feel the player,’ said Arteta when asked by his former teammate, Theo Walcott, if he was convinced Havertz could perform so effectively in his current position.

‘Until he’s in the environment it’s difficult to understand. I thought he could play in three different positions as attacking midfielder or as a nine.

‘And then we started to feel in certain spaces, certain relationships this is everything.

‘You know better than anyone, if you like to run behind you need someone to play the balls in behind and those relationships appear in a natural way.

‘Sometimes the players decide, not the manager, where they have to play.’

Havertz, himself, is playing with total confidence and now has a personal best nine Premier League goals for the campaign.

He said:  ‘Definitely when you feel that you are so strong at the back it helps you a lot. I am enjoying myself and I will try to help the team, I hope to keep on going forward.’