Arsenal’s midfield looks set to become even more competitive, with Mikel Arteta eyeing an interesting signing ahead of the January transfer window.
Arsenal’s plans for the January window
Earlier this week, Fabrizio Romano revealed that a Premier League midfielder was at the top of Arsenal’s wishlist in Douglas Luiz.
Sadly for the Gunners, a move could well prove difficult with Aston Villa not willing to sell their star man in the winter market.
Valued at £52m by CIES Football Observatory, he could be a rather expensive acquisition for Arteta’s men.
With the ability to play in midfield, the “warrior” that is Luiz could well force summer signing Kai Havertz into a new position on the pitch.
Havertz’s debut campaign in an Arsenal shirt
During his time at Bayer Leverkusen, Havertz adopted the nickname of ‘Alleskonner’, because of his versatility and vast skillset. This particular attribute allows the attack-minded star to excel with different responsibilities and we have already witnessed that under Arteta, whether it be starting in a midfield role or being deployed as a target man in the latter stages of matches.
This ultimately makes him the only Arsenal player to have featured in every match across all competitions this season, via ESPN.
The boss recently stated, “That’s what big players do”, in response to the German’s winner against Brentford last weekend, which took the Gunners to the top of the table. Havertz netted the only goal of the match ten minutes after being subbed on, and his impact off the bench this campaign should not go unnoticed.
Six points have essentially been won due to the introduction of Havertz, as he also assisted Gabriel Martinelli’s deflected strike in the 1-0 victory over Man City. In the Premier League, the number 29 boasts a record of two goals and one assist in 725 minutes.
Where Havertz could play if Luiz signs
Havertz’s highest goal-scoring tally in the Premier League since arriving in England in 2020 is eight and he has often been criticised for his unconvincing and sometimes poor finishing in front of goal.
However, it is often forgotten that he netted 17 goals in the 2018/19 Bundesliga season, proving he has the ability to be a prolific goal-scorer. As such, a move into a centre-forward position could finally get him playing at his best.
Standing at 6 foot 3, the Germany international can offer Arteta an aerial presence that the side is missing in attack. Havertz’s height makes Arsenal much more unpredictable at both ends of the field, with crosses added into the mix alongside cutbacks, as well as direct clipped passes via the goalkeeper or defenders, for Havertz to hold up.
There is no questioning that the maestro is technically sound, and his ball retention is relatively decent for a centre forward, with 83% pass accuracy, which ensures that Arteta’s side maintains attacking control.
We have witnessed that Havertz also possesses the movement of an elite forward, highlighted in the UEFA Champions League final he won for Chelsea, and he can operate against a low block defensive set-up, as well as a high line.
Although Havertz has struggled to find his feet since leaving the Bundesliga, it is clear that he has quality in abundance and this slight tactical tweak should Arsenal sign a new midfielder – notably Luiz – could very well bring the best out of the versatile forward.
Havertz always found himself in goal-scoring positions at Chelsea, evidenced by the 0.43 xG per 90 last season, and with the amount of creativity around him via Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard, he has a great opportunity to thrive in the box.