Time to Place Some Trust on Trusty?
Before his sojourn to the Premier League last summer, Auston Trusty was already an established name in the MLS, beginning his formative years with Bethlehem Steel in the USL, before notching up 56 appearances in two seasons for Philadelphia Union and three campaigns with the Colorado Rapids, garnering 57 appearances. Arsenal signed him and allowed him to finish the campaign with the Rapids, before shipping him out on loan to Birmingham City last summer.
This has been a breakthrough campaign for Trusty in English football, with the American center back being an ever-present for Blues this season, making 48 appearances across three competitions. Trusty played 90 minutes in Birmingham’s EFL Cup First Round loss to Norwich City, with the Blues crashing out on penalties after a 2-2 draw on the night. The FA Cup campaign for the club lasted over three matches with Trusty featuring in all three games – a First Round win against Forest Green, a Fourth Round draw with Blackburn Rovers and a narrow 1-0 defeat in the replay with Blackburn, where Trusty scored an unfortunate own goal that was enough to clinch the contest between both sides.
In 44 games for Birmingham City in the Championship, Trusty scored four goals, including a brace in the 3-0 win over Bristol. He used his tall 1.91cm frame to great effect, averaging 3.1 aerial duels won per match. Reviewing his other defensive stats on WhoScored, Trusty averaged 2.3 tackles per match, 1.5 interceptions per match, four clearances per match, 1.1 fouls committed per match and 0.8 blocks per match. His passing stats leave a lot to be desired with an average of 32 passes per match, 1.6 long balls per match and a pass completion percentage of 68.7 percent.
With Arsenal qualifying for the Champions League as well as competing in the Premier League and domestic Cup competitions, they will need to add some depth to the squad and Trusty’s return to the team will be a welcome addition. He’s 24-years-old, which means that he would fit into the current age group of the squad, and William Saliba’s injury issues has shown that more hands on deck would be required in the course of the campaign. I will not expect him to start ahead of the established center backs like Gabriel and Saliba, but he can challenge the likes of Jakub Kiwior and Rob Holding for a place in the squad.
It has also been reported that Glasgow Rangers are interested in signing him on a permanent basis, so Arsenal can also explore the option of shipping him off, to recoup the £1.5 million they paid for his services. However, he recently won the Birmingham City Player of the Season award, which was a testament of his footballing service to them. Trusty also had some good words to say after winning the award,
“It’s my first year over here in Europe and first time on loan, but I didn’t come here thinking this is just for a season, I came here thinking I want to make my mark on an organisation. I’m thankful that I have been perceived this way by the fans. It’s been really, really awesome.
“Coming from the US I knew I would have to prove myself. I really was an unproven European player, I had to prove that I can hold my ground and do my job. Coming to the Championship and a team like Birmingham City that allowed me to show that was the best-case scenario.”
I hope he’d have a chance to play some pre-season football, so that the fans can get a glimpse of his abilities. I truly hope that Arteta and the Arsenal hierarchy place their trust in Trusty.
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