What Kai Havertz did to James Maddison in perfect representation of Arsenal transfer masterclass

Kai Havertz and James Maddison came together to represent the perfect transfer mastery from Arsenal in North London Derby battle

Kai Havertz has become a cult hero at Arsenal despite starting life as one of the most maligned players in Mikel Arteta’s squad. A slow start combined with the £65million transfer fee raised eyebrows and sparked premature criticism which now looks incredibly amusing both to the player himself and those who have backed him since his arrival.

One of the regular arguments raised by those with heightened scrutiny toward the German was the comparisons of the signings made by Tottenham and Liverpool. For £25million less Spurs managed to get James Maddison from Leicester City and for £5million less the Reds landed Dominik Szoboszlai.

Early in the season, both looked better acquisitions than Havertz but that has gradually not only levelled out but the Arsenal man has overhauled the pair’s numbers considerably. Maddison in 23 games, having suffered an ankle issue which meant he missed eleven games (ten in the league), has got four goals and seven assists.

Eight of those goal contributions came prior to the injury. Compared to Havertz he is now seven behind as the Arsenal man secured his 12th goal and sixth assist of the league season in the 3-2 win over Tottenham.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian international has just three goals and two assists for Liverpool. A damning return considering the amount paid for who is certainly a talented player Jurgen Klopp has seemingly failed to unlock – perhaps Arne Slot will have more luck.

In the North London Derby, there was perhaps a moment which summed up the transfer masterclass in classic Arsenal vs Tottenham fashion. Not counting the goal and assist which contributed to Havertz being given the man of the match award, he had a coming together with Maddison which delighted Gunners fans.

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As both players went to battle for a ball close to the touchline in the 21st minute, Havertz looked to clear the ball out as Maddison closed him down and managed to block the strike. As both would’ve seen their momentum take them off the field, Havertz used the England international to keep him in play by shoving Maddison out of the picture not to be seen again.

Arsenal have forcefully risen up the table with signings like Havertz at the heart of it, dominating the majority of clubs in the league and with one more ‘Big Six’ side to come remained unbeaten against opponents who historically had an excellent record against the Gunners, especially in their own grounds. Havertz shushed the crowd after scoring Arsenal’s third on the day.

A signal not only to the Tottenham fans inside the stadium but to his critics and those who seemingly rated the likes of Maddison and Szoboszlai above him. The question of whether Arsenal have now found their centre-forward of the future remains as many still clamour for a summer signing but maybe some humbleness is needed after the lessons taught by the number 29.