Kai Havertz deployed in bizarre new position in Germany defeat to Turkey

  • Havertz played at left-back in Germany's 3-2 defeat to Turkey on Saturday evening
  • The Arsenal summer signing has been playing in midfield at club level
  • He scored an early goal before conceding a penalty for Turkey's third goal

Havertz was a left-back for Germany
Havertz was a left-back for Germany / Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Kai Havertz endured a mixed evening on Saturday as he was surprisingly deployed at left-back in Germany's 3-2 defeat to Turkey.

The 24-year-old's best position still remains a mystery to many fans. He impressed as an attacking midfielder with Bayer Leverkusen and, after beginning his Chelsea career in central midfield, ended up struggling as a striker.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta took a £65m risk on Havertz this summer, signing him to fill the void left behind in midfield by Granit Xhaka, but results have been mixed as the German has just one penalty goal and one assist to his name from 19 appearances so far this season.

To the surprise of many, Havertz was given a new challenge on Saturday when Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann revealed the Arsenal man would be starting at left-back against Turkey.

"I have a great idea, he’s an exceptionally good footballer," Nagelsmann told RTL ahead of what was his first home game as Germany boss. "This is a very good option. He won’t always play as a classic left-back."

Kai Havertz, Florian Wirtz, Jonathan Tah, Julian Brandt
Havertz opened the scoring / Boris Streubel/GettyImages

It appeared to be a masterstroke initially as Havertz actually opened the scoring after just five minutes, but things would quickly turn sour as Turkey struck twice before half-time to take the lead, although the Arsenal man was hardly at fault for either.

Niclas Fullkrug tied things up for Germany shortly after the interval but things would end on a sour note as Havertz conceded a penalty for handball, allowing Turkey to fire home what ended up being the winning goal.

"He made a normal hand gesture, in my understanding this is not a penalty," Nagelsmann said after the game." The rule is applied more strictly internationally. In the end it’s not a penalty."

The Germany boss was also keen to ensure Havertz was not handed any unfair criticism for the defeat, adding: "He was probably our best player today."

The outing at left-back means Havertz has now played in defence, midfield and attack during his senior career. Indeed, the only positions in which he is yet to play are right-back, centre-back and goalkeeper.