Cocky Kai Havertz fires warning to Steve Clarke as Germany hitman aims his Arsenal at Scotland

-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Cocky Kai Havertz has warned Steve Clarke he’s ready to unleash his awesome Arsenal form on Scotland next month.

The Gunners star and his Germany team-mates will host Clarke’s side in Munich on June 14 as they meet in the hotly anticipated Euro 2024 curtain-raiser. And frontman Havertz says the big opener couldn’t be timed better as he looks to carry on the impressive displays that helped take Mikel Arteta’s Londoners to the brink of a Premier League title this season.

The former Chelsea forward struggled to settle in his early days with Arsenal following a £65million switch from Stamford Bridge last summer. But he found his feet and his scoring boots in the second half of the campaign, netting nine goals and setting up six more in the final 14 league games as Arteta’s side took their fight with eventual champions Manchester City for the English top-flight crown down to the final day.

Havertz said: “It was good to end the season in such good form. It is not a new thing in football, scoring goals always brings confidence to a player. I was scoring goals for the team, making goals for the team, and now I want to take that confidence into the European Championships. To play in the opening game in your country in front of your own fans is going to be a very special moment - but it can’t be an occasion we let get to us.

“Scotland are going to want to make a statement and they are a very good team. In international tournaments it is so important to start with a win - and our only focus will be on taking three points.”

Havertz hailed former Rangers hero Arteta for helping to transform his game after a bleak start at the Emirates, which saw him contribute just one goal in his first 19 games with the club. The 24-year-old was so out of form in front of goal at one point this season that Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann even experimented with him at left-back. But that’s all changed thanks to Arteta’s guidance.

“Mikel has taught me so many things in my first season at the club,” said Havertz. “He has so much focus on the tiniest details of a players game - and he points out lots of little small things that I don’t think the average coach thinks about. He has made me a better player as well as a more confident player.”

Germany are hoping for better finals fortunes after a string of disappointing performances in recent tournaments. At Euro 2020, they crashed out to England in the last 16 while their previous two World Cup campaigns have failed to even make it past the group stages. But Havertz is hopeful the hosts can go much, much further this time.

“Germany always have an expectation to win major tournaments - and when we are the home nation that expectation is bigger,” he insisted. “For now we just have to focus on the first game and winning the group - then we can start to dream.”