‘Good luck with that one’ – Souness accuses Arsenal boss Arteta of wasting money in the summer

Joe Williams
Graeme Souness talks about Arsenal
Graeme Souness during his role as a Sky Sports pundit.

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness thinks Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has wasted £65m on signing Kai Havertz from Chelsea in the summer.

The Germany international swapped west London for north London in the summer transfer window and is yet to hit the ground running at the Emirates Stadium.

Havertz had rarely sparkled at Chelsea after his €85m move from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020 but will go down in Blues history for scoring the winning goal in the 2021 Champions League final.

There were some who thought Havertz might fit into Arteta’s system better than the one at Stamford Bridge but he is yet to get a goal or an assist for Arsenal this season.

And Souness thinks Arteta has made a mistake by wasting £65m of the Arsenal budget on Havertz and wishes him “good luck” in getting a “tune out of him”.

Souness wrote in his Daily Mail column: “Not all of Arsenal’s spending makes sense to me. They’ve laid out £65million on Kai Havertz. Surely you’re not spending that kind of money on what he’s shown at Chelsea in the past three seasons?

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“They’ve shelled out in the hope that Mikel Arteta can get a very, very different tune out of him than Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel or Graham Potter ever did. Good luck with that one, Mikel.

“We live in a world where stats have become a very popular part of the game for the anoraks. But historically only two stats provide a judgment in black and white terms.

“For a goalkeeper: how many games have you played and how many clean sheets did you keep? And for a striker: how many games have you played and how many goals did you score?

“Havertz has scored 19 Premier League goals across the entirety of three seasons for Chelsea. Please draw your own conclusions.”

But Souness did pick out four Arsenal players he was excited to see for the rest of the season after their solid start to the season that has seen them take 13 points from a possible 15.

The former Liverpool player added: “Arsenal do have some very good players in their team. Gabriel Jesus, back after two knee operations in 12 months, who is lively, aggressive, brave and can hopefully now just get on with his career.

“I really like Bukayo Saka — who is going to be a top player in our football for a decade, barring injury — and Martin Odegaard, who seems to be getting better and better.

“There’s also evidence that Declan Rice is becoming more adventurous and more of a goal threat this season. I have offered my own observations of how he can make himself better, which I would hope is viewed as a good thing.

“I’m sure Arteta felt that productivity at the top end of the pitch was an area where he could help Declan improve. I hope he goes on to score 10 goals a season regularly in the Premier League.”