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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta accused of ‘hurting Kai Havertz’s confidence’



Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been accused of “hurting” Kai Havertz’s confidence during his early days at the club. Gunners legend Emmanuel Petit says the German is slowly proving why his former club splashed out a huge fee on him in the summer.

Arsenal signed Havertz from Chelsea in June in a deal worth up to £65million. He was initially thrust straight into the spotlight by Arteta and struggled in his early performances.

Havertz was often asked to play in midfield, a role he had rarely been utilised in since his time at Bayer Leverkusen. Petit believes the immediate exposure damaged the confidence of the 24-year-old.

Havertz has been in and out of the side in the last couple of months, starting four of the last eight Premier League matches. Petit believes that has helped him settle in after a tricky start.

He told King Casino Bonus: “I said that Arteta isn’t helping by putting him straight into the starting 11 right away. It was hurting his confidence.

“I said that if I was Arteta, I’d bleed him into the side slowly so he could find his best level. We’re starting to see that now.

“Some fans were questioning why he didn’t start against Wolves, but I think Arteta was right. I think Havertz is starting to find his confidence.”

Havertz has scored two goals in his last three appearances and is pushing for a start against Luton on Tuesday. Petit says there are still improvements for him to make, including nailing down his best position.

The Frenchman added: “I already knew that Havertz had great quality, but he looked lost. He played as a left-back for Germany a few weeks ago, and he plays in a variety of positions for his club.

“That can’t be easy! He has no idea where his best position is. It messed with his head. Stability is the most important thing, and if he gets that, he’ll regain his confidence.

“Havertz has quality and I think he’s a great guy. I have excuses for him, but he needs to improve his character and personality. This is the definition of a professional sportsman in my opinion – they must accept the reality and fight to bounce back. I still haven’t seen that in Havertz.”

Havertz is the only Arsenal player to feature in all 21 matches so far this season, which has impressed his boss. Arteta said: “Well first of all it shows the availability that he’s had and the consistency that he’s showing.

“It’s a huge credit for him. I think he’s been very good, very positive.”

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