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Arsenal supporters have noticed that Kai Havertz has custom-made shin pads that have a photo of his dogs printed on them. The German has made it no secret that he loves animals, and clearly wants his four-legged friends Balou, Summer and Pooch with him at all times.
Havertz joined the Gunners this summer in a deal worth £65million with the hope of getting his carer back on track after an underwhelming few years at Chelsea. Eyebrows were raised when Mikel Arteta pushed for the playmaker to be acquired but he will be hopeful of proving his doubters wrong.
The 24-year-old showed glimpses of promise in Arsenal’s midfield trio against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, being deployed as a box-to-box midfielder in the 2-1 win. Havertz’s display didn’t truly catch the eye, though his shin pads caused a stir among supporters.
An image of the ex-Bayer Leverkusen star surfaced online of him leaving the pitch alongside Saliba with his guards tucked in the waist of his shorts. A picture of his three dogs, who were used to announce his move to Arsenal earlier this summer, were seen to be printed on the pads in an uplifting decision.
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Havertz has never been afraid of publicly speaking about his love for animals, in particular donkeys. The midfielder has revealed that he feels that he embodies the personality of the farm animal and has visited their sanctuaries throughout his life.
He explained to The Guardian: “Some of my teammates call me Donkey. It’s not because of my football. From day one, I felt a special relationship with donkeys. It’s a very calm animal: maybe I personalised myself in them because I’m calm too.
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“They chill all day, don’t do much, just want to live their life. I loved them always. And when I lost, I would go to the sanctuary. You look at the animals, see something human in them. It was a kind of recovery, a place I felt peace.”
Havertz has also been frequently pictured with Arsenal’s new recent acquisition, a dog named Win. The chocolate Labrador was hand-selected by Arteta to be a familiar face at London Colney, with his name chosen to prompt the players to embody the correct mentality. Speaking about Win, the manager said: “We always talk about family and being connected. In my opinion, a big family like we are at the club, which I feel we are a family, you need a dog to represent that family. “I think there are still things at the club that can be done to connect with people, to be more caring with people, to show love, and I found this dog that in my opinion was the perfect representative of who we are right now.”
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