Arsenal told they may have another Ozil, as pundit feels Gunners fans could turn on ‘disinterested’ star

Ciaran McCarthy
Kai Havertz, Chelsea, November 2022

Paul Merson believes Kai Havertz could have a “similar problem” to Mesut Ozil in that he “doesn’t look too interested” when things aren’t going well, and Arsenal fans may feel he’s “not trying”.

Havertz appeared one of the Gunners’ main targets ahead of the summer transfer window opening. Mikel Arteta is clearly a fan of the German, and was keen to bring him in, alongside some other talented players – Declan Rice being the other main name.

Arsenal confirmed the signing of Havertz for £65million early in the window. While it might seem a strange one in that he’s been deployed as a striker during his time at Chelsea, and Arsenal have three such senior players in Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun – for now – it seems Arteta wants him to play in the centre of the park.

Wherever he is to play, Sky Sports pundit Merson feels the 24-year-old will bring quality to the Gunners.

“Arsenal should be buzzing with Kai Havertz, he makes them a better team,” he told Sky Sports.

However, Merson has raised concerns that he could be perceived in the same way as former Arsenal star Mesut Ozil, but not in a good way.

“The only problem I could see with Havertz is similar to that experienced by Mesut Ozil at Arsenal. If it’s not going well, Havertz doesn’t look too interested,” Merson added.

“That’s just down to the way he plays, it’s just the way certain players are, it’s not that he’s not trying. If you’re having a good game Havertz looks elegant, silky, but if it’s not going well, people will say he’s not running around or trying.”

If Havertz is to be utilised as a midfield player, the feature that Merson suggests he has in his game is will be more evident than when he was positioned up top. As such, the star will be eager to prove that his elegant side is the main one in his game.

In any case, Merson doesn’t feel the perceived lack of effort is much of a limiting factor for him or his side.

“That’s his only problem, but make no mistake, he improves Arsenal,” Merson said.

Arsenal will hope that improvement translates in the league table, with Premier League honours surely on their mind after missing out to Manchester City last season.

READ MORE: Jesus names player Arsenal can’t afford to lose this season as Arteta’s next target is revealed