Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann plans to keep using Arsenal star Kai Havertz at left-back heading into next summer’s European Championships.
Havertz has struggled to deliver much of an impact since his £65million move from Chelsea to Arsenal but the 24-year-old was given the chance to shine in a surprising new role for his country against Turkey on Saturday night.
The former Bayer Leverkusen enjoyed the best possible start in his new position, opening the scoring for his side inside five minutes.
Germany fell to a 3-2 defeat however with Havertz giving away the penalty that led to the winning goal for the visitors after a handball.
Speaking after the defeat, former Bayern Munich boss Nagelsmann singled out Havertz for praise, believing he was ‘probably our best player’.
Germany will host next summer’s competition with Nagelsmann suggesting he will continue to use Havertz in the unfamiliar role, insisting he now has the opportunity to make it his own.
He said, Sky Sports Germany report as cited by Sports Central: ‘Kai said he wanted to do it, wanted to try it. ‘I don’t see this as a risk for him, but as a very, very big opportunity to play a key role at the Euros. For a first time in an unfamiliar position, he did extremely well and probably was our best player.’
Havertz has played in a variety of roles in his career including as a striker, a false nine, a no 10, out wide and this season, a no8 in a deeper midfield role under Mikel Arteta.
He has scored just one goal – from the penalty spot – since moving across the capital during the summer transfer window.
Former Gunners star William Gallas has been particularly scathing in his criticism of the German, insisting he has ‘done nothing’ since arriving in north London.
Gallas said: ‘I’m not impressed with Kai Havertz so far. ‘He’s done nothing since he joined Arsenal. He may have scored, but that was only because Martin Odegaard let him take a penalty! ‘Havertz hasn’t done anything yet, and I think he’s in trouble. I don’t think Arsenal should have signed Kai Havertz. I think that was a mistake. If you spent £60 million on a striker, you expect them to score at least 15 goals in a season! I don’t think that’ll happen.’