Arsenal legend Lee Dixon has asked for patience with Kai Havertz this season. The Gunners signed him from Chelsea this summer for £65 million.
Havertz excelled in a position behind the centre-forward at Bayer Leverkusen but was largely used as a No. 9 at Chelsea. Gunners manager Mikel Arteta has deployed him as a left-sided central midfielder.
The Germaan has failed to justify his hefty price tag so far. Former Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent is among many pundits to raise their concern over Havertz's form.
Dixon, though, doesn't want to give up on the Germany international just yet, telling NBC Sports (h/t The Boot Room):
"I do actually quite like him when he plays well, so I’m going to stick up for him here. “He’s going to be a slow-burner, and I just hope he quickens up with his burning. He needs to get me out of trouble.
"I’m going to stick with him for a bit. Smarter people than me have paid a lot of money for him. I’ll give him a bit more of a chance. I don’t want to make my mind up quite yet."
Havertz started Arsenal's first five games across competitions this season but failed to make a tangible impact. He failed to impose himself in the starting XI in the first four games and was used off the bench in the 1-0 Premier League win against Everton on September 17.
Havertz, 24, signed a five-year contract this summer and is Arsenal's highest-paid player, pocketing £280,000 in gross weekly wages (h/t Capology).
Pundit raises concerns over Arsenal star Kai Havertz's goalscoring abilities
Former Everton centre-back Alan Stubbs has said that Kai Havertz lacks the natural goal-scoring instinct associated with world-class strikers.
Havertz hasn't registered a goal contribution for Arsenal and scored just nine times in 47 appearances across competitions for Chelsea last season. Stubbs said on Stadium Astro's YouTube channel (h/t The Boot Room):
"He gets himself in so many good areas, but when he gets there, he looks like he needs another few more seconds to try and think about what he’s going to do; whereas a lot of strikers, they’re very instinctive.
"He doesn’t look instinctive to me. He’s big, strong, powerful. But with Kai Havertz, you don’t feel confident when he’s in a goalscoring position."
Arteta is using Havertz as a No. 8 — a role that doesn't require him to be in goalscoring positions as much as it did while he was at Chelsea. The German has, however, failed to register a shot on target in the league for the north London club (h/t SofaScore).