Mikel Arteta hails Kai Havertz’s ‘huge impact’ on Arsenal team

Mikel Arteta has said that Kai Havertz is having a “huge impact” on the Arsenal team after the north London club continued their Premier League title bid with a 3-0 win over Brighton at the American Express Stadium on Saturday.

After a difficult start to his Arsenal career following his arrival at the club from Chelsea in the summer, Havertz has emerged as an integral part of Arteta’s plans, producing the kind of performances that once made him one of Europe’s most sought-after forwards.

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He scored his side’s second goal in the win over Brighton that sent them back to the top of the table, taking his tally to 10 goals in all competitions this season.

“He’s certainly having a huge impact on the team. His overall performances have been really good and now his numbers for goal contributions are really high,” manager Mikel Arteta told reporters. “He needs to maintain that.

“I think his understanding with the attacking players was superb. I think they had real purpose and connection and a lot of clarity on where to attack and we created many chances.”

Havertz was voted man of the match at Brighton, a far cry from the beginning of the season when his role looked unclear and Arsenal’s fans were slow to warm to him.

“Obviously he is in a very different moment. He has some fantastic players around him and we have tried to create the right environment for him,” Arteta said of the 24-year-old.

“I think it’s very important for any player, that they feel confident and we hopefully give him the love he needs. He has the admiration of the rest of the players and staff at the club and now the supporters of our club, for sure.”

With some tough away games to come, including a trip to north London rivals Tottenham at the end of the month, Arsenal’s form on the road gives cause for optimism.

They have not conceded in five away games and have scored 20 goals in those games, but the win at Brighton was especially impressive as the south coast side had not lost at home since August.

“This is a really, really tough place to come and win but also in the manner and the formula we have done it. Hopefully yes, we can carry on doing what we are doing,” Arteta said.