The real reason Arsenal want to sign Kai Havertz

Arsenal look set to complete the signing of their first summer transfer this week, bringing in Chelsea forward Kai Havertz for a reported £65m. 

But while the talk has been of how well the German international fits into Mikel Arteta's system at Arsenal, it might actually be the ways he doesn't that make him such an important acquisition.

Havertz will most likely will replace Granit Xhaka in the left-sided central midfield role, allowing him to use his technical ability more than he has been allowed to while invariably operating as a false No.9 at Chelsea. 

His attacking stats from the season just gone, including his progressive carries, touches in the final third and forward passing stats, all point towards a player who would thrive in a position starting a little bit deeper on the pitch. This is further highlighted by his lack of potency in front of goal, albeit in an ailing Chelsea side which simply struggled in general. 

And while his arrival does slightly rely on Arsenal also signing Declan Rice - Rice would allow Odegaard and Havertz to focus more on their attacking responsibilities and less on defending due to his qualities as a defensive midfielder - there's perhaps another reason why Mikel Arteta is so intent on bringing the 6ft 4" German to the Emirates Stadium. Headers.

Granted, Arsenal were fourth in the Premier League during the 2022/23 campaign for headed goals with 12, but only four of them actually came from set-pieces, highlighting their deficiencies in attack. 

Relatively speaking, Arsenal didn't cross the ball too frequently last term. This is understandable, considering none of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli or Gabriel Jesus are particular strong headers of the ball. 

Havertz, meanwhile, is one of the best headers of the ball in Europe, as FourFourTwo's Adam Clery highlights in the video above.

Having Havertz adds yet another dimension to Arsenal's attack, whereby they can stand the ball up with a cross into the box confident that the 24-year-old will at least challenge for the ball and create some confusion in the opposition's defence.

More Arsenal news

Arsenal transfer news is ramping up this summer, with the Gunners set to loosen their wage structure to attract the best players.

Moises Caicedo is heavily linkedXavi Simons is on the radarIvan Fresneda could join and Ilkay Gundogan is wanted, too. Arsenal could sell £100m worth of players, too – with William SalibaMartin Odegaard and Thomas Partey all wanted by clubs overseas.

Jay Bothroyd, meanwhile, has told FFT that the Gunners perhaps surprisingly, should be in the market for a striker.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1