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Will Leandro Trossard Ever be a First Team Regular?

Leandro Trossard can be Arsenal's X-Factor: Five things we learned as  Belgian sensation leads the Gunners to win over Barcelona in eight-goal  thriller |

Leandro Trossard commenced his football career in Genk winning the Belgian Cup once in 2013, as well as clinching the Belgian First Division from the likes of Anderlecht and Club Brugge in the 2018/19 season.

Leandro Trossard

That turned out to be a monumental and breakthrough campaign for Trossard, as he scored 22 goals in 47 appearances, which brought him to the radar of those elite scouts of Brighton and Hove Albion, who wasted no time in signing him for an undisclosed fee. Trossard primarily manned the left wing for Brighton and was an ever-present for the Seagulls, playing 31 of the 38 games of the 2019/20 season. The Belgian was part of the Brighton side that struggled in 15th place under Graham Potter, and the struggles continued into his second season with the club, as he missed only three Premier League games of their shambolic 2020/21 campaign that saw them finish in 16th place. 

The 2021/22 season marked some massive improvement in Brighton, as Trossard scored eight goals in 34 Premier League games, which saw Brighton finish in ninth place, and brought Potter to the spotlight, before he made the eventual switch to Chelsea last season. Despite scoring seven goals and featuring in every game for Brighton of the 2022/23 season before the FIFA World Cup, Trossard made the switch to Arsenal in the winter transfer window to add some much needed depth to the Gunners’ attack. 

There was a nice touch from his former club, Brighton, thanking him for the memories, and that was quite a highlight reel. There was a bit of sour grapes from his former boss, Roberto de Zerbi, but frankly, Arsenal fans didn’t care. 

Arsenal warned over Leandro Trossard transfer

Arsenal had gotten themselves a vastly experienced player in the peak of his powers, and who was going to test himself amongst the elites, as the club aimed to finish at pole position in the Premier League, before falling short season. The project at Arsenal is very enticing and the higher ups would have weighed the situation and determined that Trossard was good enough to play a part and contribute this season.

The player himself has stated that he wanted us help the club achieve its dreams. Which was a damn good way to start.

Trossard made his debut in that pulsating 3-2 win over Manchester United in January, before making his first start in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester City. Over the next three Premier League games against Everton, Brentford and Manchester City, Trossard made substitute appearances, scoring his only Arsenal goal so far in the 1-1 draw with the Bees. Eddie Nketiah’s unfortunate knee injury paved the way for two starts against Leicester and Everton, which he registered an assist each in both games, then he started against Bournemouth and had to be substituted after 22 minutes due to injury.

Trossard returned to the starting lineup against Fulham and stole the show with a hat-trick of assists in the game, before joining the team to suffer some heartbreak when they lost on penalties to Sporting CP in the Europa League Round of 16. In that game, Trossard had an opportunity to be the match winner but his shot went past Antonio Adan and clipped the post. Truly heart-wrenching stuff. 

He provided another assist in the 4-1 whopping of Crystal Palace, was selected by Belgium in the international break and provided an assist for Kevin de Bruyne in the 3-2 win over Germany. His fine form continued when he provided another assist in the 4-1 win over Leeds, then he was relegated to consistent substitute appearances, as Arsenal’s title challenge dwindled following three consecutive draws to Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton, before Manchester City decimated the Gunners which effectively ended their title challenge. 

Trossard returned to the starting lineup against his former club, Brighton, won ran out as 3-0 winners, and Martinelli’s injury from a nasty Moises Caicedo challenge ensued that Trossard finished the campaign with starts against Nottingham Forest and Wolves, where he had two assists.

Going into the new campaign, Trossard was in good goalscoring form, but has been relegated to the bench in Arsenal’s fixtures this season. In the Community Shield, he came on as a sub, and scored the late late goal that took the game to penalties, which Arsenal won, and he managed to play 17 minutes in the narrow win over Nottingham Forest. Takehiro Tomiyasu’s red card in the slender win over Crystal Palace had to make Mikel Arteta resort to Satanball, and Trossard couldn’t get onto the pitch. 

Arsenal has signed some important players this summer, and the manager has done his bit to integrate them to the squad, which has coincided with a formation change, but Trossard hasn’t still been favored as a first-teamer, despite possessing the traits and abilities to feature in several positions in the attacking third. 

Gabriel Martinelli remains the first choice left winger, and Kai Havertz seems to be the favored asset for the left 8 role Granit Xhaka departed, and even when Arsenal was without its alpha dog in attack at the start of the season, Eddie Nketiah was selected in the center forward position ahead of Trossard.

There is a lot of football to be played as Arsenal is currently competing on four fronts, but it’s evident that Trossard will never be a ‘first-teamer’ in the Arsenal squad. 

I’m still very happy that he’s ours though, especially when I think of the fact that we opted for Mykhailo Mudryk ahead of him.


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Latest Injury Updates on Odegaard, G. Jesus and Trossard

Three things noticed from Gabriel Jesus' first Arsenal training session  after £45m move - Mirror Online

Following what was quite an intense battle against Sporting CP in Lisbon, the Premier League returns to our screens with Bournemouth hosting red-hot Liverpool in the lunch time fixture, but everyone connected with Arsenal will take keen interest on the proceedings at Selhurst Park in the last fixture, when former Gunner, Patrick Vieira, leads his men against the defending champions, Manchester City. The Cityzens know that a win against Crystal Palace cuts the lead at the top to two points once again, putting Mikel Arteta’s men under intense pressure to come up with the goods against Fulham away.

Arteta will have some injury concerns to contend with, and as we are already aware, Mohamed Elneny remains the only long term absentee thus far, after going under the knife to mitigate a knee injury and following his new contract extension, the Egyptian midfielder will remain at the club for another campaign, which will give him the chance to say his goodbyes the right way when that contract expires.

Injuries are part and parcel of the beautiful game and what matters the most is how clubs react to them. Elneny got injured at a time when Arsenal’s midfield general, Thomas Partey, had his own injury concerns, and with Albert Sambi Lokonga set to depart the club on loan, it was absolutely essential for the Gunners to add quantity and quality to the midfield, and that came from a surprising transfer – Jorginho from London rivals, Chelsea. Jorginho hit the ground running from the get-go allowing Arsenal the opportunity to allow Partey recuperate fully well from his injury, and we have reaped the benefits of that, with Jorginho being a positive influence, on and off the pitch.

Elsewhere, club captain, Martin Odegaard, has been a mainstay in the first team and his attacking output has been exemplary, scoring nine goals and laying up six assists for his teammates. He trained well with the team and even travelled to Lisbon to be part of the squad to take on Sporting CP, but he became unwell and couldn’t feature in the game, putting his next clash against Fulham at risk. It’s been reported that Odegaard is recovering well from his illness and the Viking chieftain is very hopeful he would feature in the all-important clash against Fulham, but he will have to go through a fitness test to ascertain whether he will be fit enough to start. 

Odegaard’s position in the squad is one that Mikel Arteta is stacked with options should the captain not be fit enough to start. Fabio Vieira is finding his rhythm in the side and will be pleased with his assist in his native country in midweek, and his style of play is somewhat similar to the Norwegian. Emile Smith-Rowe is another plausible option to play the Odegaard role, but the Englishman is still working his way to full fitness and isn’t really for the big time yet. Arteta can also tear a script from the Liverpool handbook and play three tenacious industrious hard workers – Partey, Jorginho and Granit Xhaka in midfield, but that’s highly unlikely, as it would affect the dynamism of the attacking play.

Gabriel Jesus is another player itching for a comeback, with his last competitive appearance for Arsenal coming before the World Cup in Qatar. Jesus didn’t feature much in the mundial, and managed to start alongside Gabriel Martinelli in the dead rubber game against Cameroon, but he suffered a knee injury that required surgery, sidelining him for the best part of four months. 

Jesus has been heavily involved in some training sessions, but he will be assessed ahead of the clash against Fulham tomorrow,

“We will try not to rush him back, we will try to make a fair assessment between what he needs and when he’s comfortable, as well as give the team a boost that they will need in the next few weeks.

“Everything is going well, he needs time to get himself that confident and physical state to compete with a free mind, and when he is free to do that, we will throw him in.”

With Eddie Nketiah suffering a knock on his ankle and Leandro Trossard having a groin injury (more on his anon), Gabriel Martinelli has been tasked with the burden of spearheading Arsenal’s attack and he was on the end of some good chances against Sporting CP on Thursday with the pick of the bunch, being that solo effort that was quelled by some last-ditch defending. Martinelli showed good hold up play and off the ball movement associated with a modern complete center forward, so I would expect Arteta to listen to the medical team and make the best decision regarding Jesus. 

One player whose injury came at the worst possible time was Trossard, who had nailed a spot as the center forward ahead of Nketiah, and played a pivotal role in Martinelli’s rise in form. Like Jorginho, Trossard joined the club in January, following the failed pursuit of Mykhailo Mudryk, and showed his immense quality, playing a role in the match winner against Manchester United and opening his Arsenal goalscoring account against Brentford. The Belgian maverick scored a sumptuous scorcher against Leicester but VAR played a role in cancelling the effort. 

After just 22 minutes in the home clash against Bournemouth, Trossard signaled to the bench that he felt some discomfort and had to leave the pitch and head straight to the tunnel, and it’s never a good sight seeing a player go all the way, rather than hanging out with his buddies on the bench. The initial prognosis on Trossard’s groin injury is that its not as bad as everyone feared, but he will not be available for selection till after the international break at the very least. 

I’d preview the Fulham game tomorrow after getting more updates from Mikel Arteta’s presser. 


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Trossard Proves his Worth with Martinelli’s Rise in Form

Arsenal signing in line to replace Gabriel Martinelli as injured star could  return vs Brentford -

Trossard coming on for Martinelli

Trossard arrived at Arsenal in the January transfer window after his agent’s emotional outburst, reacting to his client losing his place in the Brighton team post-World Cup and frozen out completely with the emergence of Kaoru Mitoma. Following Arsenal’s intense, yet failed pursuit of Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhailo Mudryk, Leandro Trossard was identified as an alternative, and Arsenal wasted no time in acquiring his services, drafting him to the substitutes’ bench in the exciting 3-2 win over Manchester United. 

Gabriel Jesus was out with a long term knee injury and Mikel Arteta expressed the need to get a dependable forward to provide adequate backup, and in Trossard, Arsenal was gifted with a versatile, experienced Premier League-ready forward that needed no adaptation time, as the club is in the business end of the season. Trossard came on as a sub in the Manchester United game and had a hand in the late winner by Eddie Nketiah. A visit to Goodison Park was next and its fair to say Arsenal stunk the whole place, but he managed to get half an hour under his belt, coming on for Gabriel Martinelli that had really looked off the pace in the period. Those that watched the game can attest to the fact that Trossard did more in 30 minutes than Martinelli in an hour.

Trossard earned a start in the FA Cup clash against Manchester City and had one big chance that was saved by Ortega in the Manchester City goal, but the rotation with Martinelli continued, as he has subbed out for the Brazilian winger in Arsenal’s eventual loss. When Martinelli put up another weak performance against Brentford and was yanked off after an hour, Trossard came on as his replacement and showed good movement to attack Bukayo Saka’s drilled effort to the far post and score his first Arsenal goal, much to the delight of his new fans. However, Brentford scored a goal that was meant to be ruled out for offside, and Trossard’s moment in the Sun was gone, as the back pages couldn’t label him as Arsenal’s hero that scored the winning goal on the night.

Mikel Arteta felt it was time for Martinelli to lose his place entirely, and Trossard took his left wing slot in the visit to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa at Villa Park. Trossard put up a strong performance on the day and was subbed for Martinelli after 68 minutes, with the game delicately poised at 2-2. We all remember the drama at the end, but most importantly, Martinelli scored a goal, his first in eight games, ending his personal drought. 

Then came the master stroke from Arteta – instead of the usual Martinelli vs Trossard rotational outlay every week, why not start them together? However, someone else had to be sacrificed for this cause, and Nketiah, who was going on his own personal drought of five games without a goal since his perfect brace against United, was relegated to the bench to allow Trossard and Martinelli play together. No disrespect to Nketiah – he has actually been brilliant deputizing in attack in Gabriel Jesus’ stead and when he scored that brace against Man Utd, it was his sixth goal in his sixth appearance post-World Cup, having scored earlier against West Ham, Brighton and Oxford United. He also gives 110% like Gabriel Jesus and worked very hard to improve his build up play, even though he’s just renowned for being a poacher. Nketiah’s preference has always been to stay on the shoulder of the last opposition defender, moving around the goal and waiting for a chance to spring. He has pace to burn and prefers a pass into space, which gives him the chance to show his excellent finishing skills and composure – even though consistency has been a challenge for him. 

However, Nketiah’s style of play was somewhat detrimental to Martinelli, as he was always isolated on the left and was hardly brought into play by Eddie. Saka on the other hand, always has the connections with Martin Odegaard and Ben White which increases his influence on the pitch, while Martinelli has no Kieran Tierney to run into space on the left to allow him cut inside, rather an Oleksandr Zinchenko that adds to the numbers in central midfield.

However, Trossard playing the false nine role, has brought out the best in Martinelli, as his positional awareness and consistent swaps with the Brazilian forward is akin to what Martinelli enjoyed with Gabriel Jesus pre-World Cup, which has seen him flourish yet again. In Trossard’s first game as the center forward against Leicester, he swapped with Martinelli a lot of times and Arsenal reaped the reward of this tactical approach, with Martinelli scoring what proved to be the match winner. Trossard received the ball from Gabriel at the back, drifted to the left wing, dragging Leicester’s big center back, Harry Souttar, with him, creating a dangerous space in the rearguard for someone with pace to exploit, nutmegged a sumptuous ball to Martinelli who turned on the afterburners with Wilfred Ndidi on the chase, before placing the ball past Joel Ward and receiving a whack on his knee for his troubles. 

Arteta acknowledged the tactical decision after the game in his Leicester post-match press conference,

“We had the option to play Gabi as a nine and Leo on the left, we had to see how the game developed and what Leicester wanted to do. I wanted to have that option from midfield to make that change if necessary, and it was great because I think his contribution was really good.”

Lest I forget, Trossard scored a beautiful goal against Leicester from the edge of the box, but White’s shenanigans with Ward in the build up to the goal was caught on camera, ruling that brilliant effort out. Trossard was eventually subbed for Nketiah in the 69th minute, but he had put up another great shift for his new team. 

I expected Arteta to repeat this feat against Everton two nights ago, and the Arsenal manager delivered. Trossard retained his place ahead of Nketiah and his movement and positional swaps with Martinelli brought out the best in the young Brazilian yet again. It took some individual brilliance from Saka to break the deadlock, but Martinelli opened his scoring on the night while staying in the center forward position, with Trossard on the left. The actions between Martinelli and Trossard on the pitch has turned out to be nightmare for opposition defenders, with both players drifting on the left wing, and center forward spots at intervals, as well as showing great positional awareness to keep their markers guessing. The Belgian maverick also created a sweet assist for Odegaard, latching onto Granit Xhaka’s pass in behind the defense on the left and cutting the ball back from the byline. Odegaard’s technical astuteness was on show, using the pace of Trossard’s ball to guide the ball into the back of the net.

Trossard left the pitch for Nketiah, like the previous game, and in Arsenal’s fourth goal, Nketiah unleashed his inner Trossard, drifting to the left wing to receive Zinchenko’s pass, before carefully threading it to Martinelli that toe poked the ball home from point blank range. A player that had not scored in eight games, has smashed in four goals in his last three, thanks to some tactical brilliance from Arteta.

I am expecting Trossard to remain as Arsenal’s center forward in the remaining Premier League games till Gabriel Jesus is fully fit, while Nketiah can get another runout when Arsenal travel to Portugal to take on Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League Round of 16. 

Trossard has definitely proved his worth to the club, as it has coincided with Martinelli upturn in form. Long may it continue.


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