Martin Keown has showered Kai Havertz with praise after admitting to being ‘unsure’ about the player when he signed for Arsenal.

Many eyebrows were raised when Havertz swapped Chelsea for Arsenal in a £65million deal last summer, as the German international had been very hit and miss at Stamford Bridge.

The 24-year-old got off to a shaky start at the Emirates but has steadily improved, and since the turn of the year he has been in brilliant form.

He set up the first goal of the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Luton Town on Wednesday night, a result that moves the club to the top of the Premier League with just eight games remaining.

That brings his tally for the season to eight goals and four assists in the league so far – more goal contributions than he managed in each of his three seasons in west London.

Keown agrees that Havertz is ‘very much flourishing’ and praised Mikel Arteta’s tactics for unlocking his potential.

‘It was one of those where there was a bit of criticism when it [the signing] happened and I just wanted to see for myself what he could do,’ the Arsenal legend told TNT Sports.

‘I wasn’t sure at the beginning, he played as a centre forward in the Community Shield and I didn’t see the work-rate or the running in the channels. He moved back into midfield but now he’s in his best position as a front player.

‘He’s so intelligent and keeps disappearing from the defenders. He can be really effective and it’s really working for Arsenal at the moment.’

Arteta made five changes to his side for the Luton game from the one that played out a goalless draw against title rivals Manchester City, but Havertz retained his place up top, such is his importance to the team.

‘We managed to rotate and freshen the team up a bit. Those who came in did really, really well,’ the manager told BBC Match of the Day.

‘We scored two very good goals and in the second half, credit to Luton they are a really good side and difficult to play against but overall a win and another clean sheet and in a couple of days we play again.

‘To have a squad they have to play. We have to make those decisions. The contribution they make to the team was very good.

‘Now we recover and go again because we have Brighton away.’