Leandro Trossard – Transfer Report: Gunpowder For The Gunners

Leandro Trossard – Transfer Report: Gunpowder For The Gunners

An intra-league transfer saw Belgian winger Leandro Trossard move from the high-flying Seagulls to top of the table Arsenal. Trossard has been on the Gunners’ watchlist for a long-time, with initial interest recorded in 2019.

Many might think that spending 30 million euros on a 28-year-old Trossard is not intelligent spending from Arteta, considering that he might not slot immediately into Arsenal’s first-team. But what Trossard provides is a quality bench option, who is versatile enough to play across the front line, as a number 10, and even as a left wing-back.

So what are the strengths and weaknesses of this tried and tested Premier League winger, and how can he fit into Arteta’s plan?


Leandro Trossard Percentile Rank, vs attacking midfielders/wingers in Europe’s top 5 leagues

Trossard’s most important quality is his ambidexterity. It is difficult to find high-quality players who are able to use both feet to as high a level as Trossard. His two-footedness allows him to be unpredictable down the touch-line.

Especially compared to his new teammate Gabriel Martinelli, who is very much one-footed. With his strengths laying in cutting in and finishing, Trossard is able to both cut in and dribble around the defender, with both options providing huge amounts of threat.

His ball-retention ability, which sees him excel in tight spaces compared to the push-and-run style of a traditional winger, compliments Arsenal’s possession-based style of football. He is often one of the most press-resistant players on the pitch, able to squirm his way out of dangerous situations and beat multiple lines of pressure with a dribble or a well-placed pass.

That said, his long-passing is another key aspect of his game. Ranking in the top 88th percentile for through balls, and the top 87th percentile for switches, Trossard is able to pick out precise passes that play his teammates directly through on goal, or switch balls to the far side of the field, recycling play and capitalising on the opponent’s shifted back-line.

Trossard also excels in finishing, recording +0.15 goals-xG. This could be seen as a slight over-performance, but his other statistics seem to suggest otherwise. Looking at goals/shot and goals/shot on target, for both metrics, he ranks in the top 89th percentile. This suggests that it is not an overperformance and is representative of his finishing ability.

Another underrated aspect of Trossard’s game is his willingness to defend from the front. Playing in an aggressive pressing structure under both Graham Potter and Roberto De Zerbi, Trossard is more than willing to initiate the press or act as a supplementary presser. He has recorded 1.21 blocks per game and ranks in the 81st percentile compared to other wingers and attacking midfielders.


Whilst Trossard might excel at pressing from the front, he lacks the work rate and the ability to run back and assist in defence. He ranks in the 25th percentile for tackles, and in general, his defending metrics are not seen as positive, as you can see from the chart above.

This might hamper Arsenal’s ability to defend effectively, especially with Jesus and Saka always positioned higher to counter-attack.

However, he has the experience of playing as a left wing-back, and if asked to keep a more conservative position, which removes the need for him to repeatedly run up and down the field, he should be able to contribute effectively in defence.

Another problem with Trossard’s game is his decision-making process. Trossard often looks to play creative long passes, instead of simple short passes. This could be due to the fact that he was looked to as a creative force during his time at Brighton, and felt that the onus was on him to pick out his teammates to score goals.

This has resulted in a 72.3% pass completion rate, ranking him in the bottom 25th percentile. This is a worrying statistic, especially as Arsenal aim to retain possession. It does not, however, indicate that Trossard is weak at passing, in fact, it is one of his strengths.

To regain a good pass completion rate, Trossard has to be trained to identify the correct passes to play and not always over-complicate the situation.


In all, Trossard is a brilliant player who has taken a big step in his career with this move to Arsenal. The Gunners will also get a player in his prime and will be able to utilise him as an effective utility player able to provide cover for a multitude of positions.

I see Trossard starting on the Arsenal bench and coming on for one of the front three as they tire over the course of games. However, Trossard could possibly be thrown directly into the starting eleven as well.

Given Gabriel Jesus’ injury, Eddie Nketiah is still not the most reliable forward to replace him. Arteta might very well move Martinelli to the striker position, and allow Trossard to take his place on the left wing. This allows for more diversity in gameplay as Trossard is more unpredictable than Martinelli, whilst making the most out of Martinelli’s movement and finishing.

It is exciting to see where Arteta will utilise Trossard, and how he will perform in a bigger team that has less reliance on him. It is now down to him to stamp out his weaknesses and contribute significantly to one of the Premier League’s best sides.

Also read: Noni Madueke – Transfer Report

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