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Gary Neville called ‘disrespectful’ after comparing Kai Havertz to former Premier League player

Gary Neville has been accused of being ‘disrespectful’ after he compared Kai Havertz to a former Premier League star.

On Sunday Arsenal claimed a vital 1-0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford to keep them in the Premier League title race heading into the final day.

Leandro Trossard scored the only goal of the game to earn the three points, but the Gunners will need Manchester City to drop points if they are to win the title for the first time since 2004.

Mikel Arteta’s side were far from their best, but they kept the game tight and limited United’s opportunities to hit them on the break.

Kai Havertz played an important role in that respect, playing in a false nine role that saw him drop deep to help Arsenal keep the ball and link midfield with attack.

The Germany international made an unconvincing start to life at Arsenal following his £65 million move from Chelsea last summer, but in recent months he has impressed playing as a false nine rather than in midfield.

Former United star Gary Neville singled out Havertz for praise after the match, and compared him to former Liverpool attacker Roberto Firmino.

“Havertz is doing a similar thing to what Firmino did at Liverpool,” Neville said on Sky Sports.

“He drops in, he links the play, he provides a goal threat. But he’s subservient to the team, he’ll do whatever the team needs during a game.

“Remember for large parts of this season there were large question marks over Havertz, but he’s become a really important figure.

“I used to think that Firmino was a wonderful player for Liverpool. [Sadio] Mane and [Mohamed] Salah used to get all the main plaudits and the credit.

“And that’s right, but I always used to mention Firmino because of the way he played, connecting midfield with the attack. Havertz is doing something similar.”

Liverpool fans were less than happy with Neville comparing Havertz to their former star.

“Havertz??? Firmino??? This is disrespectful,” one fan tweeted. Another supporter said “Don’t do Firmino like that,” while a third commented: “0 ball knowledge. You attended which school?”

One fan argued: “Havertz couldn’t even lace Firmino’s boots never mind be compared to him. The disrespect is unreal.”

Another Liverpool fan hit back, writing: “Until Arsenal’s two main wide forwards both score 20 times in the league with Havertz as the 9, I’d refrain from using this comparison this early tbh. Firmino was too special to be compared to Havertz of all players.”

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Written by Nike

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