Well, that escalated quickly. After there being nary a whisper of the move, Arsenal have apparently signed Leandro Trossard from Brighton for £27m. If nothing else, this is a welcome change from the “let’s negotiate with a club while the player twerks for us for months only for Chelsea to snatch him anyway” saga. If this story proves true, I’d be content with knowing that we signed a player before Chelsea could. While Trossard may not be as sexy a signing as some of the other players out there, he ticks a lot of boxes and could end up being a very shrewd signing. Of course, we’re still awaiting the official announcement, so let’s not get too worked up.
For myself, I won’t believe the story’s true until I see Trossard being handed the match ball after his hat-trick on Sunday against Man U. More seriously, though, what this signing may lack in sex appeal it more than makes up for it in other ways. He’s Prem-proven. His fee won’t saddle him with massive pressure to perform, nor does it signify the type of player who’s going to demand to be a regular starter. He’s versatile enough to play left wing, attacking midfield, and second striker, and he can probably cover the right wing in a pinch. That’s cover if not competition for Martinelli, Jesus, Ødegaard, Smith-Rowe, and Saka.
For those wondering about that fee being large, keep in mind that there will be a £6m donation to the Belgian Armed Forces and the fee will be amortized across 8.5 years to comply with FFP.
As to the player, he may not be pacy, but we don’t really rely on counter-attacking so much that this would be a concern. His close control and two-footedness make him very effective against low blocks and parked buses. He could have been very useful against the likes of Newcastle and will probably prove this when we go to St. James’ Park on 6 May. Think of a stronger but perhaps slower Cazorla. His ball progression vs. attack output compare favorably to the likes of Kane, Almiron, and Salah, among others.
I don’t love this signing, but I do like it quite a lot. It’s not a season-changing signing, but it could just be a season-saving signing. Get ‘er done, Edu…