Positive #3: Trossard provides positive alternative
The signing of Trossard in January has turned out to be a blessing for Arsenal considering the struggles of Mykhailo Mudryk at Chelsea. The Belgian has become a handy squad player across the front three, mostly operating on the left wing and occasionally deployed in the false nine position when Arsenal are left with no proper striker.
With Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah out injured, Arteta could have given Kai Havertz a start in that position, but he opted for Trossard which was not a surprise given he has excelled whenever he is called upon to fill in. Arteta plays with a striker who can come in-field, link up play, and still be available in the box to get on to the end of things. Trossard has proven he can make up for Jesus’ absence, and he deserves another start this weekend against Burnley.
Negative #3: Havertz continues to struggle
When Kai Havertz joined Arsenal in a big-money move this summer, it was made abundantly clear that Arteta had a specific role for him and knew how to unlock the player we all saw in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen before his move to England. But, it is still not happening for the German in north London.
The story of Havertz has not changed from that player that frustrated Chelsea fans before his departure. He is frustrating Arsenal fans, and I don’t know how long Arteta is going to persist with his experiment.
Many have suggested that his best position is as a striker, but he has struggled as a number nine since he arrived in England. With the type of football Arteta aims to play, Havertz does not fit the bill and I don’t know how that will work.
But while he frustrates a lot of fans including myself, I think he has developed technically as a player, his touches and passes are improving, his ball control is getting better, and he is looking more rounded as a player, although we should be getting a finished article for £65m.
My theory is this: if Havertz is destined to be the number mine at Arsenal, maybe, just maybe Arteta is developing his technical ability by consistently playing him in the midfield ahead of a more technically rounded player in Fabio Vieira.
Only time will tell.