Leandro Trossard is one of Arsenal's great modern-day signings

  • Leandro Trossard has been clutch for Arsenal during the run-in
  • Gunners signed Trossard as Mykahylo Mudryk altenative
  • Belgian has proven to be an incredible signing
Leandro Trossard has enjoyed a superb end to the season
Leandro Trossard has enjoyed a superb end to the season / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

The idea of Arsenal signing Mykhaylo Mudryk over Leandro Trossard is worthy of a dystopian flick. However, in January 2023, it was a very real possibility.

There seemed to be a mutual obsession between player and club, with Mudryk, who'd burst onto the scene in the Champions League with Shakhtar Donetsk, garnering plenty of buzz among Gunners supporters. I mean, he is fast.

Thus, when Chelsea swooped to snatch Mudryk away from a hesitant Arsenal's grasp, contempt for the hierarchy emerged as the prevailing mood. Fortunately, discontent on the south coast allowed the Gunners to pivot to a handy alternative.

Brighton, as Arsenal discovered during negotiations for Moises Caicedo, are no pushovers, but their willingness to let Trossard depart midway through the season meant the Gunners, instead of paying a premium to sign Mudryk, acquired the Belgian international for less than £30m.

At the time, Trossard was regarded to be nothing more than a Mudryk alternative. A higher floor, lower ceiling sort of move with expectations tempered. Instead, the 29-year-old has emerged as one of the great modern-day Arsenal signings.

Leandro Trossard is one of Arsenal's great modern-day signings

Trossard was never prolific for Brighton. He departed the club having scored 25 times in 121 appearances. He's seven away from that tally with Arsenal having played 54 games fewer.

17 of his 18 Arsenal goals have arrived this season. During his first six months at the club, Trossard was an assist machine. He averaged an assist every 93 minutes in the Premier League, recording ten in total.

While the rate at which he teed up his teammates was remarkably impressive, this was almost what was expected of him. He was never going to get the world alight, but he'd be a more than handy contributor for a very good team.

2023/24, however, has seen Trossard blossom into Arsenal's clutch gene. The assist numbers are down (just two all season), but the goals have flown in. Gabriel Martinelli's presence meant he had to wait until March - when the Brazilian sustained a foot injury - to receive sustained starts. In Martinelli's absence, Trossard thrived, and he's kept the lightning-quick winger out of the side during the run-in.

The 29-year-old is not Arsenal's star attacker, nor will he ever be, but he's a major reason as to why Arsenal are still in this title race. Trossard's stellar efficiency has complemented the Gunners' impenetrable structure and slick possession play, with the winger scoring five goals in his last seven games.

In crunch time, Trossard has sealed all three points at Brighton, opened the scoring at Wolves, eased the tension against Bournemouth, and won the contest at Old Trafford. He's delivering the goods when it matters most, and he'll be remembered ever so fondly in north London should Arsenal end the season as Premier League champions.

Some have drawn comparisons between Trossard's current run and Freddie Ljungberg's during the Gunners' title success of 2001/02. Back then, the Swede scored six goals in as many games to conclude the season as Arsene Wenger's team pipped Man Utd to to the title. Has Mikel found his Freddie?

There's nothing spectacular about Trossard's profile. He's not exceedingly quick, he doesn't dazzle you with his footwork, he's not overly creative, and it looks like he plays off four hours of sleep, but he outperforms his xG! He knows where the back of the net is, and his knack for being in the right place at the right time is almost freakish. Billy Beane and the Oakland A's would've loved this fella. "He gets on base", and all that.

The beauty of Trossard is his unremarkability. He's not the guy opponents make a concerted effort to stop, and the Belgian continues to take advantage of such an oversight. His recent run, perhaps sparked by Anne Hathaway's adoration for the winger, means he currently leads Arsenal's non-penalty goals chart.

And Arsenal got all of this for a meagre £27m?! Trossard again, ole, ole!