Arsenal’s Kai Havertz criticised by Gary Neville despite Liverpool win | Football

The pundit feels Arsenal are still missing one piece of the puzzle up top (Picture: Getty)

Gary Neville has criticised Kai Havertz’s performance against Liverpool and feels he is too ‘languid’ to lead the line for Arsenal, while he still feels the Gunners need a new frontman.

Mikel Arteta’s side could have fallen eight points adrift of the Premier League leaders but produced an excellent display on Sunday to secure a 3-1 victory, with goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard bringing them within two points of the Merseysiders.

With Gabriel Jesus absent through injury, Havertz was tasked with leading the line but spurned several good chances – though Saka was on hand to tuck home the rebound from one.

While the German worked hard up top, Neville is not convinced he is the answer and believes Arsenal are still missing a goalscoring striker even when Jesus returns to full fitness.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, he said: ‘The thing about Mikel Arteta and the Arsenal team is, I don’t look at them and think that he can get any more out of them.

‘I think he’s honestly achieving the maximum with this group of players and that’s a great job. So what he’s doing is fantastic. I just wish he had one player at the top end of the pitch.’

Asked if it was a mistake not to bring someone in in January, Neville continued. ‘Yep. [There was money available in the summer] and they spent £65m on Havertz.

‘I watched him today Havertz when he’s moving into the box, he’s a different type of player, but he’s quite languid.

Arsenal star Kai Havertz against Liverpool

Neville still isn’t sold on Havertz (Picture: Getty)

‘There’s no change of pace into the box, there’s no change of direction, there’s no little darts.

‘And then I think of Jesus when he plays and he’s everywhere but where you want him to be! He’s everywhere Jesus, I love him to bits, but literally when you want him in the centre of the six-yard box he’s probably on the right wing! Or at right-back!

‘And then you look at Nketiah, who is probably the most natural [frontman] of all of them, but probably isn’t up to the standard of the other two.

‘So all three of them have deficiencies which mean that they don’t deliver.

‘Saka and Martinelli were sensational today, they were putting balls into the box that were just ready to be knocked in and they [the strikers] are just not there.’

He added: ‘We’ve talked about this, everyone has talked about Arsenal and their lack of a striker.

‘What can Mikel Arteta do now with the players that he’s got to make one of those players score 10 goals in the last 15 games? What can he do now? That’s the bit I keep thinking, what can he do? Who can he put in there?’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, 
Twitter and Instagram.


MORE : Rio Ferdinand slams Mikel Arteta for over-celebrating and dubs Arsenal ‘Deluded FC’


MORE : Gary Neville explains why he no longer thinks Arsenal will win the Premier League title


MORE : Roy Keane slams Liverpool as a ‘pub team’ and makes title prediction after Arsenal defeat