Arteta shuts down Havertz question as Arsenal boss refuses to share views on ace

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta refused to be drawn into speaking about Kai Havertz’s individual performances following his disappointing display against West Ham in midweek. The German has been heavily criticised since joining the Gunners, and the playmaker is yet to show signs of improvement.

Arteta was keen to bolster his ranks over the summer in the hope of bridging the gap between his side and Manchester City. Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and David Raya were all signed to add quality in different departments, though the acquisition of Havertz for £60million raised eyebrows.

Despite arriving in the Premier League as one of the most exciting talents in Europe, the 24-year-old regressed significantly at Chelsea and was sold as part of their reshuffle. Arsenal were keen to take a risk with Havertz and help him get his career back on track, but they have not been rewarded for their faith yet.

The former Bayer Leverkusen star played the full 90 minutes against West Ham in the Gunners’ 3-0 Carabao Cup defeat, leading to further questions being raised about Havertz. Asked about his performance, Arteta refused to be drawn into sharing his views on the versatile playmaker.

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The Spaniard said: “I’m not going to put any individual. We are a team.” Arteta will be relying on Havertz to provide him with a touch of quality in midfield over the coming weeks as Emile Smith Rowe has been ruled out for at least a few weeks with a knee injury. Speaking about the injury, Arteta said: “Nothing has changed.

“As I said – he will be out for weeks – how many will be determined by how he progresses in the first few weeks especially. A big blow because he was gaining some momentum.”

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Havertz could also find himself in familiar territory in leading the line for Arsenal over the coming weeks with Gabriel Jesus still sidelined through injury. Eddie Nketiah is thriving at present but keeping the 24-year-old fit has become a priority due to the absence of natural No 9s in north London.

“I said that it will be weeks but very difficult to put a timeframe on it,” replied Arteta when asked about the extend of the Brazilian’s issues. The Gunners boss will be hoping that his side’s growing injury list does not extend further this weekend when his side take on Newcastle, who are riding high after demolishing Manchester United in midweek.

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