Ex-Arsenal defender suggests Havertz can’t replace Xhaka


Kai Havertz is a Gunner. By now, that has sunk in. It has been established that the 24-year-old will play an attacking midfielder role, replacing Granit Xhaka in Arteta’s midfield. With that realisation, there’s a debate about whether the German would thrive in that role at the Emirates.

At Chelsea, he was predominantly used in the attack as a false nine, to the point where many saw him as a striker, though he didn’t sparkle in the role as he was expected to. With a desire to play a key role for Germany in next year’s Euros, Havertz hopes to be an instant hit at the Emirates.

But as much as Germany hopes for that, ex-Arsenal star Kieran Gibbs has doubts that he will be able to thrive in a Premier League midfield battle, given the fact that he feels the 24-year-old lacks the physicality and technical ability needed to thrive in midfield. On ESPN FC Gibbs said:

“That role he’s going to play is it basically a replacement for Xhaka, and that’s where I think Mikel sees him.

“The Havertz we’ve seen before, we’ve just not seen it. I don’t know if he’s physical enough to be in there, I don’t know if he’s got the ability to use his body in situations to get out of trouble or the technical ability to play in tight areas.

“The midfield players we know over years and years at Arsenal had that, it’s always been one of the strengths of Arsenal and the teams that I played in. That position was valued so highly because we knew how important those little moments are in the games where players have the ability to change the game in one moment.

“Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil, Fabregas, Song, Rosicky, the list goes on. With Havertz, I just don’t know if I can see that in him yet.”

Anyway, Gibbs challenged Havertz to live up to his price tag and be ready to carry the team at times. “A £70million signing is a signature signing. For that I want someone who, when things are going bad he’s going to put the team on his back and say don’t worry boys I’ve got this.

“At first sight I don’t see it. Right now I don’t see it,” added Gibbs.

Do you think Gibbs is Right?

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