Paul Merson defends new Arsenal signing with Mesut Ozil claim

Paul Merson has been defending one of Arsenal’s big-money signings amid criticism early in the season.

Paul Merson has issued a defence of Kai Havertz amid criticism of the Arsenal star. Havertz was a left-field signing of Arsenal’s during the summer, with the German arriving from Chelsea on a big-money deal.

It wasn’t immediately clear where Havertz would fit into Mikel Arteta’s game plan, and after the first four games, it still isn’t particularly clear. Though, it takes time for new signings to get up to speed with their new clubs, and that is something Arteta stressed after Arsenal’s late win over Manchester United over the weekend.

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Arteta said: “I said to him yesterday, things are a little bit hard at the beginning. When I met my wife at the beginning it was hard to conquer her, I had to try and message and go and go.

“At the end when she said, ‘yes, we want to be together’, it’s beautiful. I said in the first day you know it’s not that great. So it’s good, but I think the crowd was really good with him today.”

On that back of that, Arsenal legend Merson has defended Havertz, telling Sky Sports: “I feel for Kai Havertz. He’s playing in a position where it’s not easy. He hasn’t played very well.

“Mikel Arteta will stick with him. He’s low on confidence but Arsenal have won three and drawn one. You’ve paid that money and put yourself out there to go and get him. The cream rises to the top. I’m a big fan but I did say when he got signed, he has got that look of Mesut Ozil about him.

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“That’s the problem. If it isn’t going well, he doesn’t look too interested. That’s not the case - it just comes across like that.”

Speaking about Arsenal more generally, Merson added: “With Declan Rice, when you weigh him and Moises Caicedo up, it’s so different. Rice gives you everything. It’s 1-1 and Arsenal have really got to win the game if they want to keep tabs with Manchester City. He’s on and he scores the goal.

“On Saturday, Chelsea are 1-0 down and they take Caicedo off. They’re both holding-midfield players but one gives you a lot more. If Rice can throw goals into his game then I dread to think how much he’s worth.”

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