Kai Havertz had to bury his ego and is reaping the rewards of his hard work following a testing start to life at Arsenal, the German forward said after sending the north London club to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Brentford.
The 24-year-old had been feeling under pressure following his 65 million-pound ($81.00 million) switch from Arsenal rivals Chelsea, when he came on as a substitute at the Community Stadium on Saturday and broke the deadlocked match with a close-range header in the 89th minute.
The last season’s runners-up moved up to first place with 30 points from 13 games, one ahead of Manchester City and two more than Liverpool.
“It feels amazing. I have been working hard for this moment and today it paid off, so I am happy to help the team with that,” Havertz told TNT Sport.
“It was a brilliant pass from Bukayo (Saka). We work on this routine in training quite a lot. I know Bukayo and Martin (Odegaard) love to play that ball, so it was a good goal.
“Football is always hard work. Nothing comes easy. You have to work and believe. The last couple of months have been tough for me but I try to put my ego aside because the team is the most important thing.”
Havertz, who scored the winning goal in the 2021 Champions League final against City during his first season at Chelsea, said he was thankful to Arsenal fans for sticking by him.
“It is always hard when a new signing comes and they pay a lot of money for me, so they sometimes think it will go fast and easy. I am thankful for them supporting me,” he said.
Arsenal host French side Lens in the Champions League on Wednesday before facing 12th-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday.