Arsenal: ‘Main factor’ in convincing Kai Havertz revealed as Arteta outlines Rice midfield plan

Jason Soutar
Arsenal-bound Chelsea attacker Kai Havertz during a match.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was the ‘main reason’ Kai Havertz decided to leave Chelsea for the Gunners, a report has claimed.

Havertz is set to become Arsenal’s first signing of the summer transfer window after they reportedly agreed a £65million fee with their London rivals.

The German international joins after a lacklustre campaign at Stamford Bridge. He was statistically the worst finisher in the Premier League as the Blues finished 12th.

Having led the line for Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard, it has become very clear playing as a No. 9 does not suit Havertz.

Clearly a terrific footballer on his day, the 24-year-old is more effective as an attacking midfielder or playing off the right.

And according to German outlet Sport BILD (via Sport Witness), Gunners boss Arteta has promised to play Havertz in his midfield three, in a similar role to Martin Odegaard, but as a left-sided central midfielder.

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The report says it was Arteta who convinced the former Bayer Leverkusen youngster to move to the Emirates, with the Spanish manager the ‘main factor’ in the player’s decision to join.

Arteta has ‘assured’ Havertz he will be able to play in his ‘preferred position’, which is ‘central or attacking midfield’.

The Arsenal manager’s vision is to have Havertz and Odegaard in the ‘a double ten or a double eight formation’ with the No. 6 ‘ideally’ being West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

It was Arteta who was the ‘main factor’ in convincing the player to move from west to north London, with his midfield masterplan ‘playing a big part’ in negotiations.

Another player who seems convinced by Arteta’s project at Arsenal is Ajax defender Jurrien Timber.

According to Dutch journalist Mike Verweij, Timber’s “dream and priority” is to play for the Gunners, despite interest from Bayern Munich.

“Timber has said from the very first moment that he only wants to leave Ajax for an absolute top club,” Verweij said last week.

“Even Bayern, who have not yet made an offer, are still waiting, because Arsenal are his dream and priority. He doesn’t listen at all to other clubs.

“Ajax & Arsenal really still have to negotiate about the transfer fee, but Timber has also been promised to think along, so there is an agreement [to let him leave]. No fixed transfer fee.

“Ajax bet on €60m. I think they will come out between €40m and €50m.”

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