Arsenal sign Kai Havertz for £60m—let’s go!


While we away the official announcement from, the usual reliable sources are talking about this as a done deal, with Havertz leaving Chelsea for Arsenal on a fee of around £60m with add-ons of about £5m, and his wages could exceed £200m. These numbers suggest that Arteta envisions a larger role him, with the most-likely one as Xhaka’s replacement, perhaps more similar to how Ramsey played as a more-aggressive box-to-box midfielder than a deep-lying playmaker. Whatever role he ends up playing, this would be an interesting—maybe even exciting—move.

For those on the fence, consider that Havertz contributed the following to Chelsea’s 2022-23 season.

  • Most goals.
  • Most shots on target.
  • Most chances created.
  • Most aerial duels won.
  • Most possession won final ⅓.
  • Most final ⅓ passes.
  • Most duels won..

When you consider just how dysfunctional Chelsea’s season was—three managers, more losses than wins, just 38 goals scored, a 12th place finish—you have to start pondering just how much Havertz was hindered by all of that dysfunction. How many assists would he have had, for example, is just one of his teammates could put a shot on-frame? Looking forward, he’d join an attack that includes incisive finishers like Martinelli and Saka plus the creative force of Ødegaard. Apologies. I need a napkin to deal with this salivating.

For as slowly as the Rice negotations are going, this one seems to have happened at a breakneck pace. The only downside I see here is that we’ve possibly helped Chelsea avoid any potential FFP sanctions. Then again, Saudi clubs seem all to happy to help them achieve that anyway (as I visited here). £60m may sound like a lot, but Havertz is still just 24. We’ll learn more about what Arteta has in mind for him; something tells me that Havertz has quite a lot he hasn’t been able to show…and he’ll get a fresh chance at proving his doubters wrong.

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6 thoughts on “Arsenal sign Kai Havertz for £60m—let’s go!

  1. Eoin

    That’s quite a fee for a player who hasn’t really impressed since he joined Chelsea. I hope you’re right about him improving under Arteta or we’ll have been saddled with yet another Chelsea castaway.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      I think we would do well to shed the idea that we’re talking Chelsea flops & rejects. He’s not another Cech, Luiz, or Willian. Havertz did fairly well for himself despite all of the uncertainty around that club. The new environment should help him grow.

  2. jw1

    The stats I’m seeing on Havertz off-the-ball are stellar. So it’s down to Mikel to bring out the best in Kai, converting shots to goals– the way he has in the past with Raheem Sterling, Martinelli and Odegaard. Kai’s also a quality presser maybe just below the level of Gabriel Jesus. With CL on the cards– this move may be about adding another player who can press at the front like Jesus, Marti and Odegaard. When two of that trio weren’t up front– like with Nketiah or Trossard, our ability to dictate play defensively suffered.

    Look past goal contributions– what Arsenal are getting is a well-rounded player entering his prime. Up to Arteta to fit him in.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      Good point, JW. I shouldn’t have focused exclusively on his attack stats. I’ll have to take a look at how he compares to Xhaka; he seems to be the most-direct replacement (with Rice possibly replacing Partey?).

  3. Kelechi

    I saw somewhere some stats that his pressing, tackling & ball recovery were all much higher than Xhaka’s last year. I like the idea of him as a well-rounded player. Midfield trio of Havertz, Rice, and Odegaard sounds pretty damn good!

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