Kai Havertz says he feels “happy” and “comfortable” at Arsenal, and explains why he has to do more than just score and assist to help his team win games.
Although we are used to seeing Havertz as a forward player, he has – in spells – played as part of a midfield trio including Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice.
It has meant the 24-year-old has had to hone a more defensive side to his game, but he says he has become comfortable with Arsenal’s style of play.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports at the launch of PUMA’s new FUTURE 7 football boot, Havertz said: “Before, I used to focus a lot just on the offence, but defence is also a big part of the game and I knew that so I’ve worked on that quite a lot.
“I’ve been getting used to all the players, to the style of football and now, I feel very comfortable in the team so that’s good.
Sometimes you look down and you want see something nice. I like bright colours and the colour white as well so the boot looks very cool. It’s very comfortable, so I enjoy playing with it.
“We [Havertz, Odegaard and Rice] are all young, I think we are a similar age group. It’s amazing to play with them.
“They’re both top players and we are still getting used to each other, it is only five months that we’ve know each other. Hopefully there’s a big future ahead of us as well.”
With a role further back, it means Havertz has had to create different openings and use different aspects to help Arsenal. His late forward runs in particular have been used to good effect this season.
Live Super Sunday
“I’m a player who always wants to attack the box, wants to make those runs and I think it’s always important to sometimes, not even get the ball, but to create space for other players.
“So I like to do these runs and I think they are always important to our game.”
However, there have still been five goals and one assist across all competitions for Havertz – including a late winner against Brentford in November.
And the Germany international is aware that players – especially offensively-minded ones – can often be judged solely on goals and assists.
“I think that’s just how it is nowadays – people don’t watch the games, they just see the goals and assists and if no one scored, they had a bad game,” Havertz added.
“But for me, I didn’t start playing football because of this. Obviously it’s the best thing to do to score goals, and I love it, but there are a lot of different things you have to do in the game as well.
“I want to score goals, I want to assist and that’s the nicest thing you can do, so I just try my best every game for that.”
After a difficult run of results in December and January, Arsenal have come bursting back into the Premier League title race with an impressive 3-1 win against Liverpool on Super Sunday. It has cut the gap to the Reds to just two points.
It followed a 5-0 thumping of Crystal Palace to get their form back on track and Havertz is confident there is still plenty to come from this Gunners side – including silverware.
“It’s six months gone and we are a bit a little bit behind Liverpool. Still, I think we had a lot of good games, won a lot of important games as well and we still have much to play for.
Havertz on Arsenal’s recent extended training periods…
“It’s quite useful because you play so many games.
“Every three days, you play a game and sometimes, the excitement maybe gets a little bit lost. So to have a little break is always good to refresh.
“We went to Dubai and had a good time with getting some sun as well.”
“I think I adapted very well and I love being with my mates there, with the team. It’s a lot of fun in the dressing room and on the pitch, it is hard work, but also fun. It makes me happy.
“I hope we can win trophies. I think we have the team for that, we have to coach and the staff, but obviously it’s a long way to go. We are giving 100 per cent to win titles and hopefully we can end the season with that.”
Kai Havertz was speaking at the PUMA FUTURE WORLD event in London to celebrate the launch of the PUMA FUTURE 7 – available now.
Watch West Ham vs Arsenal live on Super Sunday from 1pm on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 2pm.