Kai Havertz speaks out after being compared to Arsenal flop Mesut Ozil
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Arsenal star Kai Havertz insists he is ‘relaxed’ despite criticism of his start to life at the Emirates Stadium. The playmaker has struggled in his first four Premier League games for the Gunners.
Havertz was taken off by Mikel Arteta in each of his last two outings. Some fans have expressed concern over a couple of lacklustre displays, especially after the 2-2 draw with Fulham in which the German frustratingly misplaced several passes.
Arsenal icon Paul Merson ominously compared Havertz to countryman Mesut Ozil last week. Ozil was often criticised for his languid performances in a Gunners shirt, and so a likeness to Havertz might concern fans.
However, the £65million arrival from Chelsea insists he is not worried by his start to the season. He explained that he has often had phases in his career where people ‘only see negatives’.
“Sure, things like that keep you busy,” the 24-year-old said while on international duty with Germany.
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“But I’ve often had a phase and that you often only see the negative. It’s not the first club where I’m starting over.
“Of course, you want to be successful as quickly as possible, but I know that there are phases like that. I try to approach it in a relaxed manner.”
It comes after former midfielder Merson likened Havertz to Ozil. The latter split opinion during his time at the Emirates Stadium. “I feel for Kai Havertz. He’s playing in a position where it’s not easy [and] he hasn’t played very well,” Merson wrote for Sky Sports.
“Mikel Arteta will stick with him. He’s low on confidence but Arsenal have won three and drawn one. You’ve paid that money and put yourself out there to go and get him.
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“The cream rises to the top. I’m a big fan but I did say when he got signed, he has got that look of Mesut Ozil about him. That’s the problem. If it isn’t going well, he doesn’t look too interested. That’s not the case – it just comes across like that.”
Arteta has backed Havertz to succeed at Arsenal. Speaking after the 2-2 draw with Fulham last month, the Spaniard said: “I saw an action when he played backwards and he could have turned.
“That’s more I think the demands of everybody to play forward and to impact the game in the final third because we had the urgency to win.”
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