Time to trust Kai Havertz with leading role in rare chance to get Arsenal forward firing

Mikel Arteta will rotate his side for tomorrow’s Carabao Cup clash against Brentford, but he would be wise to start Kai Havertz.

The Germany international has endured a difficult start to life at Arsenal following his summer move from Chelsea.

Havertz has made eight appearances for the Gunners and is still yet to register a goal or assist. If anyone is in need of a confidence boost it is the 24-year-old and the chance to get off the mark against a rotated Brentford side is appealing.

It is going to take time for Havertz to adjust to his new team-mates and Arteta has called for patience.

There have been a few green shoots of promise, most notably against PSV Eindhoven last week when Havertz was given a run up front.

That is where he could start tomorrow given Eddie Nketiah played the whole of the north London derby on Sunday and Gabriel Jesus was only taken off with 13 minutes to go.

Arteta primarily sees Havertz as a No8 in midfield, but he plans to use him as a striker too given his height.

Brentford often revert to a back-three when playing one of the Premier League’s top teams and, as such, Havertz’s size will come in handy.

Arsenal are expected to make several changes for tomorrow’s third-round tie. In attack, Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson are pushing to start so Bukayo Saka can be rested.

The back injury picked up by Declan Rice during Sunday’s north London derby isn't serious, but he will not be risked at Brentford. Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny are in contention to play instead, with Fabio Vieira also likely to get minutes.

In defence, Jakub Kiwior and Takehiro Tomiyasu are both expected to start. Aaron Ramsdale will hope to return in goal.