Alex Smith, a Sky Sports commentator, has advised Arsenal supporters to be patient with new player Kai Havertz, who joined from Chelsea this summer.

Havertz, 24, joined the Emirates in a £65 million transfer but has failed to make an impact. The offensive midfielder has started all five games for Arsenal in all competitions, including the FA Community Shield victory against Manchester City on penalties.

However, the 24-year-old has yet to register an account or make a target donation. Manager Mikel Arteta has largely deployed the German in a midfield position that is new to him from his time at Chelsea.

Havertz’s lack of effect has irritated fans. However, Smith believes that the German deserves some time to adjust to a new system under a new boss. On The Gooners’ Podcast (via TBR), he stated:

“It irritates me a little that people are so quick to criticize him.” These are Arsenal fans, and you’d think that would back a new player in his early days as he tries to find his feet. He’s trying to figure out what the manager wants, and I believe it takes time.”

Smith went on to say:

“You see players come into Manchester City and try to figure out what Pep Guardiola wants and needs; it took Jack Grealish a season.” I’m not suggesting it will take a season for (Kai) Havertz to find his feet in that team, in that dressing room, and in that first XI.”

Smith, who called Havertz a “sound player” from a technical standpoint, predicted that the German will ultimately deliver for Arteta:

“I think he’s a very good technical player, I think he can be a good player for us, and I heard (Mikel) Arteta say he wants to get himself in the box at the end of things, similar to what (Granit) Xhaka did last season.”

“I believe Havertz can be better than that because he has a stronger attacking instinct and is a good finisher when he gets into those positions.”

Havertz arrives to the Emirates after scoring 32 goals and assisting 15 times in 139 outings for Chelsea.

Mikel Arteta's comments about Kai Havertz after Arsenal's match with Fulham

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

The Gunners are off to a strong start this season. They started the Premier League well, winning their first two games and the FA Community Shield against Manchester City. Their undefeated home opener was spoiled by a 2-2 tie with Fulham.

Mikel Arteta’s men allowed the 10-man visitors to tie the game late in regulation. According to Arsenal’s official website, at his postgame news conference, the Spaniard addressed the question of whether or not Havertz would win over Gunners fans:

Yes, I believe that to be the case. I believe he’s done some great things so far, and today was a challenging day for him.

Again, he found himself in promising scoring positions, but this time, the ball never came to him. What’s lacking is him scoring goals, which he should have done earlier in the season.

This coming Sunday, September 17th, sees Arsenal travel to Everton to take on their Premier League rival. Arteta and company are just two points behind league leaders Manchester City despite being in fifth place.

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