Joe Cole wishes Chelsea never sold the “brilliant” Kai Havertz who goes face-to-face with his old club for Arsenal tonight at the Emirates (8pm).

The forward was only a substitute in October’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge when the Gunners launched a late comeback.

 

But the Germany international will hope to play more of a starring role against his former employers this time around. Havertz only left Chelsea for Arsenal for £65million last summer.

His return of nine goals and five assists in the Premier League means he has already bettered his best ever season for Chelsea in the league (8g, 3a in 2021-22). And he could hit double figures by finding the net against the Blues.

Former Chelsea midfielder Cole, who scored 39 times himself in 282 matches across all competitions for the Londoners, admits he wishes Havertz was still wearing blue for this evening.

Cole said: “I always liked him as a No.9. I thought he was a brilliant player for Chelsea. He came in with a massive transfer fee and he played in multiple positions and always did a good job.

“And he scored the winning goal in the [Champions League] final. I’ve always liked him. I didn’t want to see him go. He’s gone there and done really well and found his feet. He’s a box player, whether he plays as a No.9 or a false nine, he’s got a lovely instinct to score goals and a lovely weight of pass and calmness.

“I’d have loved to see him stay at Chelsea, I really would. I think he’s a cracking player. When he was playing that role for Chelsea, that role was synonymous of the last 20 years of like [Didier] Drogba, [Fernando] Torres and [Diego] Costa, recognised centre-forwards.

“When he was playing there, Chelsea fans are used to having that. I thought he did a great job at Chelsea and he was a great signing for Arsenal.”

 

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