Who are Arsenal after? Looks like Kai Havertz and Declan Rice.
Kai Havertz? More like Why Havertz, AM I RIGHT?
Why Havertz? Well, I don’t know. His scoring, shot creation, and dribbling are very poor. But then again, so was Xhaka’s, before Arteta played him in the left half space behind the forwards. Havertz is also not great at tackling and other defensive metrics, and again, Xhaka was bad at tackling and most forwards aren’t good at that stuff. But they usually make up for it by being good at other stuff, like scoring or creating goals. The only thing that I can point to and say is a definite plus in his book is that he’s left footed and Arteta LOVES lefties on the left side of the core.
Where Havertz? My gut says he’s going to replace Xhaka on the left half space (I’m not using the term “#8” anymore because that’s a functionally dead term) but every time I say that I get someone saying “he’s never played there before” (not true) or “he’s coming in to play backup to Jesus as the false nein”. It’s a tedious conversation. Who cares? He’s a versatile LEFT FOOTED player who can play in the Xhaka role and also on the right and in the center. So, kind of a perfect player for Arteta.
Will he be a backup? I doubt it. He’s on 150k and Chelsea want 75m for him. If we pay him 200k (which is reasonable to expect) and give Chelsea somewhere more than 60m for him, it seems that he’s probably going to be a starter.
What about Smith Rowe? Yeah, I dunno. I dunno where he’s going to play next season, honestly.
Trust the process? Sorta, yeah. I mean, they aren’t perfect but Arteta and Edu seem to get things more right than wrong. They must have seen something in this player (he’s left footed) to make them want him badly enough to invest huge sums.
You keep mentioning he’s left footed, why? Because it’s a big thing for Arteta. He seems to favor lefties. His first summer as a manager, Arteta bought Pablo Mari and Gabriel, both of them are left footed. Kiwior, Gabriel, Xhaka/Havertz, Saka, Ode, and Zinchenko. I’m not sure if we have the most lefties of any club but it’s a lot. It’s an important part of his attacking and defending plan: left footed players on the left don’t have to pass across their body to play the ball out left – this changes the angle they can receive the ball and can speed up distribution, open up options for their passing. They are also better adept at defending (theoretically) with their left foot, so can defend wide left better in one-v-ones.
What about Rice? I cook mine in an instant pot. Depending on the variety, and what I want the final dish to be like, I will sometimes soak it a bit first.
No, I mean Declan RIGHT FOOTED Rice, where will he play? Look, I’m biased. I want Thomas Partey dropped from the team forever. So, my simple answer is that he will play in the CM role that Partey plays now. But I know that only a few weeks ago I thought Rice might come in to play the Xhaka role. So, am I contradicting myself? Not really. Rice and Havertz are versatile. They give Arteta options. And with Champions League football adding more (serious) games to the table, we are going to need options. I think the main positions for Rice will be the CM and for Havertz the left half space.
What if you’re wrong? I’ll give you a 100% refund of your money.
What about Caicedo? I haven’t seen any reliable information that he is still an Arsenal target. I hope he is, because he can play RB and CM and gives us OPTIONS! But sadly, I don’t see anything reliable.