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Viktor Gyokeres’ transfer to Arsenal and what it means for Kai Havertz as it highlights the dilemma faced by Mikel Arteta…



The transfer of Viktor Gyokeres to Arsenal has significant implications for Kai Havertz, bringing clarity to Mikel Arteta’s predicament.


The interest in Viktor Gyokeres for an Arsenal transfer sheds light on Mikel Arteta’s dilemma regarding Kai Havertz.


When Arsenal signed Kai Havertz, he was primarily seen as a midfielder by Mikel Arteta. The German was considered an attacking player who could play in the No.8 role alongside Martin Odegaard and in front of Declan Rice.


The first six months of Havertz’s time at Arsenal highlighted some of the challenges that managers have faced when playing him in that role.


However, the following six months have shown why he remains a valuable asset.


In 2024, Havertz has scored 12 goals and provided seven assists for both club and country, showcasing his versatility in different positions.


Despite not being used as a No.9 or a false nine at Chelsea, Havertz has excelled as the focal point of the attack.


However, as Arsenal enters his second summer and his first full season with the club, they are still in search of another player who can either compete with or provide flexibility for Gabriel Jesus, rather than directly replacing him and sending him to the bench.


Last year, Gabriel Jesus faced challenges with both form and fitness, which left Arsenal lacking in options. Additionally, there is uncertainty surrounding his best position on the field.


Manager Arteta increasingly utilized Gabriel Jesus on the right side of the attack, with Havertz taking control of the center.


However, as the 2024/25 season approaches, this arrangement may not remain the same.


Considering the current focus of the transfer window has been on acquiring a striker, it can be inferred that changes are on the horizon. This could potentially impact Havertz in some way.


It is possible that Arsenal does not intend for him to primarily play as a striker, or they may not want him in that position at all.


Regardless of the scenario, he will still be an option in the rotation, but the potential signings being considered would not be playing a subordinate role. Therefore, does this imply that Havertz will drop back into midfield?


If the signing were to be Viktor Gyokeres, who has recently turned 26, then it is quite possible.


Gyokeres not only possesses enough experience to seamlessly integrate into the team – especially after his impressive 43-goal season in Portugal – but he is also known for his durability, having played over 4,000 minutes in all competitions for Sporting CP.


Furthermore, Gyokeres is primarily suited to the role of a center forward and would not be utilized in any other position. If he joins Arsenal, Gyokeres will undoubtedly be their main striker, and quite possibly the only one.


Therefore, if Gyokeres is on the field – assuming the rumored transfer goes through this summer, as some reports from Portugal suggest, with his release clause set at £85 million – it would mean that Havertz will not be occupying the position in which he has excelled.


It is worth noting that Havertz is also playing in a similar advanced role for Germany in this summer’s European Championship.


In the same way as 12 months ago, and even a few weeks into the season, the chemistry of the team will be vital.


Havertz struggled to adapt to the role that Arsenal and Arteta required when he played in a deeper position, but following defensive adjustments and tactical changes, he proved to be a more impactful choice towards the end.


Nevertheless, Havertz excelled the most when he was positioned upfront, and the addition of Gyokeres could potentially disrupt that dynamic.


Despite this, Havertz is currently displaying more confidence than ever before, so there is a possibility of achieving different outcomes if the double-No.8s – effectively transforming into double-No.10s under Arteta’s guidance – are utilized once again alongside Gyokeres.