Arsenal highest earner now named as Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard trail misfiring star | Football | Sport

Arsenal fans could be forgiven for raising eyebrows after the identity of the club’s highest earning player was revealed. Kai Havertz, who signed from Chelsea in the summer for a £65million fee, reportedly receives the highest weekly salary at the club, amid ongoing scepticism from fans over the logic of the transfer.

Havertz, 24, signed a five-year-deal when he moved across London, following a three-year stint at Stamford Bridge where he scored 32 times in 139 appearances. And one of those strikes, the winner in the Champions League final against Manchester City in 2020/21, has been cemented in folklore with his former club.

But Mikel Arteta’s decision to spend big money on the German international was lamented in many quarters, and Havertz has struggled to make an impact at Arsenal thus far. He’s scored five times in all competitions this season, but has drifted in and out of the starting XI of late and was benched for the 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.

And the Athletic’s David Ornstein has now confirmed that Havertz is on a basic salary of £275,000 per week. That even exceeds club record signing Declan Rice, who is on £250,000-a-week following his £105m move from West Ham.

Captain Martin Odegaard also trails Havertz in the club’s financial stakes, with the Norwegian on a weekly salary of £200,00. In fact, the closest earner to Havertz is another under-fire star, Gabriel Jesus, who is on £265,000-a-week after moving from Man City in 2022.

Arteta however, has publicly backed both players, insisting he did not need to pursue more forward power in the January transfer window. And pre-Christmas, after Havertz had gone on a run of four goals in seven games, he argued that the player was now finding his best form at the Emirates.

“His confidence is growing and he feels more secure on that field,” said the Spaniard. “Overall, the performances that he shows on the pitch, his aggression, he’s top. Really good.”

Havertz spent four years in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen before joining Chelsea in a £62m deal. As well as his Champions League strike in Porto, he also helped the Blues to the European Super Cup the following season and scored the winner when they captured the World Club Cup by beating Palmeiras.

And his lack of clinical form at Arsenal has not affected his place in the German national squad. He featured in his country’s ill-fated 2022 World Cup campaign in Qatar, and has since retained his place ahead of their home Euro 2024 tournament this summer.

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