The beasting of Kai Havertz has been brutal. But for every amateur analyst demanding we know he’s terrible, another top pro manager pipes up and says they think he’s high qualidee.
This time, it’s Julian Nagelsmann – a manager a lot of Arsenal fans fawned over back in the day. He decided to go toe-to-toe with Mikel’s big galaxy brain and probably knocked him to the canvas by dropping him into the left-wing back position.
“Kai won’t always be in this position. I have a great idea, he’s an exceptionally good footballer. This is a very good option. He won’t always play as a classic left-back.”
Well, Kai opened the scoring for Germany and they went on to win.
Ok, they didn’t win. But that’s not the point. He scored a goal. THAT’S the point. Right?
Who knows where Kai’s Arsenal career is going to go, but hearing top footballing minds talking about how good he is does skew my view that he’ll probably come good. He’s a players player. A manager’s first pick. Clearly he has attributes that top coaches seem to love. We just need to see him bring a bit of bang-bang to proceedings.
My biggest takeaway from all of this is the thing that everyone said he’d be rubbish at (defending) seems to be the only thing he’s currently good at. I’m happy to put chips on his attacking game coming good when considering the managers that played him as a striker.
Arsenal are being linked with players this January — the list of players at the moment seems split between midfielders and strikers.
On the striker side, it’s Ivan Toney and now Dusan Vlahovic.
On the midfielder front it’s Douglas Luiz and Ruben Neves.
Let’s talk midfielders. Those two players, in a normal market, are £50m players. Both are versatile midfielders that can play as 6s or 8s… but the deeper role is where they thrive. For me, the only way you make that kind of deal happen is if Thomas Partey leaves the club. Neves is an outrageous technician who can’t go to Newcastle and Luiz is a free-scoring midfielder who is very unsexy but he’s never injured and he’s keeping an Unai Emery midfield going. He’s also exCity.
Midfield wasn’t where I saw Arsenal investing in January, but I think Arteta really wanted Thomas P involved this season, especially without Timber, so it would make sense.
The striker position is clearly a massive target for Arsenal, but £100m for Ivan Toney isn’t acceptable, and though Dusan Vlahvoci is a good player, what change out of £100m are we getting for him? 4 goals in 10 this season. 14 in 42 last season. Hard to say he’s banged.
If we can’t find a bonified goal-scoring freak this January, we should just pass. No point wasting good money on someone we’ll be lumbered with for 5 years. The player we sign needs to be pure glory. I’m not sure we’re getting that in 6 weeks time.
Arsenal have a new hype-child: Chido Obi-Martin
The Dane scored 10 goals against Liverpool U16s this weekend. He’s a U17, which is kind of cheating, but regardless, that is a big goal haul at a level in which you would not expect a scoreline like that.
Is he the next Jack Jebb?
The next Fran Merida?
Is he Arturo Lupoli?
Who knows… but it does seem like Arsenal’s production line continues to churn out the big names!
David Raya made his Spain debut against Cyprus… he conceded one goal off three shots on target.
Martinelli scored a lovely goal from a Vini Jr assist.
Saka did NOT get injured in very boring England win against Malta. 3 shots on target. How embarrassing.
Ok, a painfully slow week. The last international break is always the worst. So if you’re bored, check out the latest Patreon podcast below.
Pedro and @iJohnnyCochrane talk about all of the scandal and drama engulfing the Premier League this week. Deductions, relegation, and refs revenge!
— LE GROVE (@LeGrove) November 17, 2023