Former Newcastle manager Alan Pardew thinks Kai Havertz was Arsenal’s ‘weakest player’ in their 3-1 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.
The 24-year-old, who the Gunners signed from Chelsea for £65m, was named in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI for the Premier League clash.
Havertz struggled to make a big impact at the game and has been criticised for an error he made in the build-up to Marcus Rashford’s opener for Man Utd.
Arsenal may have got the better of their rivals in the end, but Pardew was unhappy with Havertz’s performance.
Speaking about his error for the Rashford goal, Pardew said to talkSPORT: “It was a poor pass, wasn’t it? Havertz is definitely struggling a little bit.
“He had a miscue as well, didn’t he, right in front of goal, about 10, 12 minutes in? He is just not having those moments.”
“Of the Arsenal team today, he was probably the weakest player I would say in terms of the performance level.”
Havertz has started all four of Arsenal’s Premier League matches so far but has failed to make a single goal contribution in any of those games.
Part of the problem for the Germany international is that he isn’t playing in his best position.
His natural spot is as an attacking midfielder, but there is simply no chance that he will be taking over from Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard any time soon.
So far this season, Havertz has featured often as a centre-midfielder, playing in something close to a number six role, which clearly hasn’t got the best from his abilities.
Despite his lacklustre start to life at the Emirates, Arteta backed the former Chelsea man to become a success with his new club, using a humorous analogy about his wife in an interview prior to the Man Utd game.
“I said to him yesterday, things are a little bit hard at the beginning.
“When I met my wife at the beginning it was hard to conquer her, I had to try and message and go and go.
“At the end when she said, ‘Yes, we want to be together’, it’s beautiful. I said in the first day you know it’s not that great.
“So it’s good, but I think the crowd was really good with him today.”
Arteta has been happily married to Miss Spain 1999, Lorena Bernal, since 2010, and the pair have three children together.