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Mikel Arteta told to axe Kai Havertz in favour of ‘better option’ already in squad

The Gunners boss has been warned about the German

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been urged to drop Kai Havertz by former Arsenal man Jermaine Pennant, who suggests that Emile Smith Rowe may be a better fit in central midfield.

The Gunners shelled out over £65m to sign Havertz over the summer, despite a couple of underwhelming seasons with London rivals Chelsea.

He hasn’t yet hit the heights of his pre-Chelsea days in north London, and his four games in midfield for Arteta’s side has left plenty with the impression that the money was wasted and that he doesn’t offer anything to the side that they didn’t already have, with his poor pass handing Manchester United their first goal and the German guilty of some big misses already in his short career at the Emirates to date.

That is a view shared by Pennant, who appeared 26 times for the Gunners during his career along with stints at Liverpool, Stoke City and Leeds United.

“I’m not seeing any evidence Havertz can turn this around,” the ex-Arsenal winger explained. “I wasn’t totally impressed with his spell at Chelsea. I know they struggled last season, but I’m not sure how long you have to give a player to impress you. Havertz is a good player, for sure, but I don’t see him being a better option than what Arsenal already have.‌

“I’d say Smith-Rowe, when fit, is a better player who contributes more. Is he a good squad player? Yes. However, I wouldn’t say Havertz isn’t a go-to number 10 or number nine.”

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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