The Blues pocketed £65m for the German attacking midfielder (Pictures: Getty / The Overlap)
After just three years with the Blues, the Germany international made the switch to north London in a £65million deal at the end of June and has already picked up a Community Shield winners’ medal.
Havertz was actually Chelsea’s top scorer last season and Neville thought Pochettino – who lacks attacking options – would have been keen to keep him, but has backed him to thrive at Arsenal.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Overlap Fan Debate, Neville said: ‘I think Havertz is a very good player and he’ll be a lot better at Arsenal than he was at Chelsea.
‘I was surprised that Pochettino let him go. I thought he would want to work with him.’
He continued: ‘I think he can get 15-20 goals in the right team. So for me you’re hoping that eight goals or nine goals [he scored last season] all of a sudden those missed chances – if he’s getting them all the time – confidence comes, that calmness and assuredness and all of sudden it goes from nine to 18. Then you’re talking about a major player.’
Fellow pundit Jamie Carragher, meanwhile, rejected suggestions Havertz flopped at Chelsea and while he is not quite as big a fan of the German as Neville, he thinks he can be a success at Arsenal despite question marks over his role.
Havertz lined up as a false nine against Manchester City (Picture: Getty)
‘He wasn’t a disaster at Chelsea, he was one of those players that did alright. He did okay,’ explained Carragher.
‘I don’t think he was a disastrous signing, he did score the winner in the Champions League final! He wasn’t one of those signings like a Werner where you just go: total disaster, you’ve got to get him out of the club straight away.
‘He was a young player, came in, you’re not quite sure what his position is. I’m not saying it’s a great signing for Arsenal by the way. I’m still a bit like: where is he going to fit in for Arsenal? For him to be a success at Arsenal he’s got to go higher than the performances he showed at Chelsea.
‘But I don’t think he was a disaster for Chelsea. It’s one of those where you were thinking, can someone get more out of him? Can he play in a certain position to get more out of him?
‘For me he’s not a striker, he was playing as a false nine for Thomas Tuchel. That’s my point with Arsenal, where does he play?
‘He played up front [against City] but he’s not a centre-forward. It’s whether he can play in that position where Granit Xhaka played last season, that’s where I think he could be perfect, making late runs. But he’s not a central midfielder either.’
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‘I thought he would want to work with him!’