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How Granit Xhaka reacted on social media to Kai Havertz’s winner for Arsenal

At full time in Arsenal‘s late 1-0 win over Brentford, the adoring Gunners support were chanting about how the club had thrown £65m down the drain on a certain Kai Havertz.

It was, of course, all in jest. The German has now finally arrived as an Arsenal player and in some style too.

This has been an arduous period in the career of Havertz who until last night, had yet to score from open play since moving from Chelsea in the summer.

He has faced stern critics as he bids to replace a cult hero in Granit Xhaka, but perhaps a late winner over the Bees to send Mikel Arteta‘s men top was all he needed.

Bukayo Saka picked up the ball on the right-hand side and with just minutes remaining, swung in a ball to the back post where Havertz was waiting. His job was easy as he fired past Mark Flekken and secured all three points for the north Londoners.

It came during a bizarre fortnight for the 24-year-old who had even been tasked with playing at left-back by his national team boss Julian Nagelsmann. If anything summed up his resilience, it was the fact that Havertz would actually score while playing in that role. Something for Arteta to ponder, no doubt.

The reaction to Kai Havertz’s goal

You could see the relief in Havertz’s face as he darted off towards the away support after scoring the winner. It was the end of months of anguish and hopefully now a massive confidence booster for the former Bayer Leverkusen man.

At full-time, Arteta wrapped his arms around the attacking midfielder and shoved him at the front of their post-match celebrations. No one has had more faith in the German than his manager.

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Arsenal star who took 100 touches outshone Havertz v Brentford

The Gunners won 1-0 away at Brentford on Saturday evening.

It was a moment that drew adulation from his teammates. Within seconds Declan Rice appeared in the comments of Havertz’s post-game Instagram post. Then, Xhaka even responded to the post with a set of flexing emojis.

Xhaka will know just how tough it can be to find a home at the Emirates Stadium, but he stood the test of time and is the perfect example of why patience is always required with certain players.

The Swiss midfielder was often the scapegoat during the latter years of Arsene Wenger’s reign and indeed when Unai Emery was at the club.

Granit Xhaka 2023/24 Bundesliga stats & comparison to Havertz 23/24 PL

Statistic

Average

Rank in Bundesliga

Kai Havertz’s PL average

Pass completion

94.84

Top 1%

29.62

Pass completion %

92.4%

Top 1%

81.6%

Final 3rd passes

11.82

Top 1%

2.65

Live ball passes

101.26

Top 1%

35.80

Touches

110.94

Top 1%

46.76

Figures via FBref

The famous armband incident against Crystal Palace in 2019 is long forgotten now, with the midfielder having very nearly fired Arsenal to the title last season.

From the middle of the park, Xhaka was phenomenal. Arriving late in the penalty, the now Leverkusen man scored nine goals and registered seven assists in all competitions during a career-best campaign.

Since moving to Germany, he is yet to find the net, although leads the way in a number of metrics as can be seen in the table above.

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