Leandro Trossard: Arsenal’s bargain Plan B

Leandro Trossard was brought into the Arsenal squad back in January of last season. However, he was not the first option when it came to being signed. Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk was the main target for Arteta’s side. Mudryk himself was hinting all over social media that he wanted to be an Arsenal player. Yet, after multiple bids, Chelsea won the signing of the player.

So attention turned to the Belgium international, who was purchased from Brighton for £27m. Many fans were disappointed considering the fact he was not a “big name.” Some still hurt over the fact that they missed out on their main man after it was looking likely he was heading to the red side of London.

Instant impact

Last season, Trossard racked up a total of one goal and 10 assists for Arsenal, ranking the second highest in assists for the side, behind Bukayo Saka (11). Due to his Premier League experience, it did not take him long to adapt to the way football was played by Arsenal.

Due to his versatility, he was able to play across the front line, predominately on the left side of the attack, or as the striker in Arteta’s 4-3-3 system. He was providing competition for Gabriel Martinelli and also slotted in for Gabriel Jesus when he got injured.

Even though Arsenal did not end up winning the Premier League, Trossard was a key player in helping them keep the title race alive. He led the way when they were ahead of Manchester City in the race. Undoubtedly he was one of the signings of the season due to what he provided in such a short period of time.

The new Santi Cazorla

Many are comparing the way Trossard plays for Arsenal to the ‘Little Magician’ Santi Cazorla. It is interesting as they both had the number 19, alongside doing a similar celebration. Driving away from their shirt number and celebration, both players hold similar characteristics, to which Trossard is showcasing. The Belgian is quick with his feet and has phenomenal vision.

It may be written in the stars: he could be the Santi Cazorla ‘regen’ that Arsenal fans have been craving all these years!

His ability

Trossard possesses many qualities that makes him a stand-out player in the Arsenal squad; he is a player that likes to drop deep and dribble into space to progress in possession up the pitch. This allows him to create goal-scoring opportunities or provide an opportunity for teammates to score. His dribbling allows him to weave in and out of tight spaces and put pressure on the opposition.

Another thing to note is his passing. As showcased throughout his cameos in his debut season for his new club, he is able to create chances out of nothing and do it on a consistent basis. Arteta’s system relies on his players pressing when not in possession. Trossard’s work rate fits in perfectly with how he is expected to play, increasing his chances to dispossess the opponent by putting pressure on them. That makes him a threat on and off the ball.

Next season

In pre-season, Trossard is already working hard and showcasing what he can do on the pitch. He is Arsenal’s current top scorer (having faced Nürnberg, MLS All-Stars, Man United, and Barcelona) with three goals so far. He had an amazing performance against Barcelona, scoring two goals, and was awarded man of the match.

Arteta seems to be experimenting with him, as he has featured multiple times on the left side of the midfield. So, it will be interesting to see where he is deployed throughout the season. Due to his versatility, you can expect him to play across the front line and in the midfield.

Trossard has already proven to be a good signing for the Gunners, and even though it was unexpected at first, he will become a very important player for Arsenal. With a return to the Champions League coming up for Arsenal, you can expect a lot of rotation within the squad. His ability to score, assist and be a threat on and off the ball will definitely cause Arteta some headaches when it comes to team selections next season.

He is the very reason one should not doubt signings because of their name. Arsenal fans are happy with how things have turned out, due in part to the fact Mudryk has not taken off as everyone had thought. The Ukrainian has played 17 games for Chelsea, and has yet to score. Of course, Mudryk has a higher ceiling and ‘will’ come good with time, but Trossard currently is more suitable to Arsenal’s current needs.

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