While we away the official announcement from arsenal.com, 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.