After coming off the bench, Kai Havertz headed in the winner for Arsenal as they beat Brentford 1-0. Questions were asked as to whether he would start given the return of Martin Ødegaard and Arteta having opted for a midfield three of Ødegaard, Rice and Trossard. In the 79th minute, Havertz was finally given a chance as Martinelli came off. He had an immediate effect. Striking a dangerous ball into an empty box, it wasn’t until 10 minutes later when he really showed his worth. With Arsenal keeping the ball in front of Brentford, around their box, there was little chance of creating a real goal-scoring opportunity. Saka and Havertz, however, had other ideas. With 2 minutes left of normal time, Saka whipped a cross to the back post where Havertz was there to head the ball into the near post where a helpless Flekken could only parry the ball into his own net. Following the game, Havertz was passionately praised by boss Mikel Arteta and applauded by teammates and fans likewise. 

During the international break, Julian Nagelsmann - Germany manager, put Havertz at left back against Turkey; in hope of finding his best position. Despite scoring after 5 minutes, Havertz put in a poor display and Germany lost 3-2. 3 days later Germany faced Austria and Havertz was playing as a left wing back. After being forced down to 10 men, with Leroy Sane sent off for hitting an opponent in the face, Germany were outplayed and defeated 2-0. Havertz again was not at his best and came off after 77 minutes.

Havertz's strongest position still remains a mystery. His career took off during the 4 years he was at Bayern Leverkusen - playing as an attacking midfielder. At the age of 21, he made a £75m move to Chelsea where, playing as a striker, he scored the winning goal in the 2021 Champions League final. Despite this, his move to Chelsea was not regarded as a success so in spite of this, on the 28th of June 2023, Havertz made a £65m move to fellow London club, Arsenal where Arteta has had him playing in a deeper role as a central midfielder. It is fair to say he has not thrived in his new role at his new club yet, but perhaps the goal against Brentford can be a turning point in once such a promising young talent’s career.

Arsenal like to play with a holding midfielder; Declan Rice, and 2 central midfielders; Ødegaard and the other still remains undecided by Arteta. Havertz, Partey - who remains injured for now, Jorginho and Trossard who made his first start in midfield for Arsenal against Brentford, are all options which Arteta can pick from. 

When Havertz has been given opportunities, he has failed to take them. After starting the first 4 games of the premier league season and providing no goals or assists, he has been in and out of the team since. He converted a penalty against Bournemouth and provided Leandro Trossard with an assist against Manchester City while also scoring against Brentford giving him a goal of 3 G/A. He has made 4 appearances in the UCL this season but is yet to score and has also made 2 appearances in the EFL cup but again, has not scored. 

Over the course of his 3 years at Chelsea, he contributed 31 goals and 8 assists in 130 appearances, nothing special and frankly you would expect more from a striker in 3 seasons, especially when you see players like Haaland getting 36 goals in 1 season, just in the Premier League. Now we cannot compare Havertz to Haaland but bear in mind Havertz did cost more than Haaland. 

Now upon analysis of this statistic, we can jump to the conclusion Kai Havertz is not a striker. He has demonstrated he is not a striker which is why Arteta has him as a midfielder. Yet, his first touch can be lacklustre, he is often dispossessed easily and fails to show off his ability to run with the ball and be penetrating. 

After reviewing this, if he isn't a striker or centre mid, then what is he? The answer may just be as simple as an attacking midfielder. It is fair to say he enjoyed the most success at Bayern Leverkusen, playing as a CAM. However in Arteta’s system there is no CAM. It is highly unlikely Arteta will change his system for 1 player which leads to the questions: What should Arsenal do with Havertz? He is not good enough to start and we can say moments of skill occasionally but that is not good enough. I think Arteta should keep him as a bench player and someone they can rely on in situations such as the one on Saturday when they faced “The Bees.” £65m to sit on the bench is not ideal but the only other alternative is to sell him but given the past 4 years, I doubt many clubs will want him and pay the price Arsenal demand. That brings us back to the start - Is Kai Havertz the right man for Arsenal?