Arsenal boss Arteta owes Chelsea a thank you because of ‘unpredictable’ Trossard

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be thanking his lucky stars and Chelsea that he was able to sign Leandro Trossard after the attacker scored the winner against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday. Trossard was summoned from the bench to replace the injured Gabriel Martinelli and found the all-important winner in the second half, handing the Gunners three crucial points at a ground where they usually struggle.

The Spanish coach has previously hailed the ‘unpredictable’ forward after scoring against Barcelona in pre-season, crediting Trossard for working hard to reach peak condition. And he believes the Belgium international gives them a different approach in their play when he comes onto the pitch.

“He gives us something very different to the other wingers we have and he has got incredible versatility and unpredictability to play in different positions too,” Arteta said in July. “It will be good for his confidence, for sure.”

There was definitely something unpredictable about the way he fired the visitors into the lead on 67 minutes. Working the ball short from the corner, Bukayo Saka’s cutback into the box looked more hopeful than measured, but Trossard didn’t hesitate to use his finesse to stroke the ball into the far corner with help from the post.

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It seems like a long time ago, but it was only back in January that Arteta was keen to add Mykhaylo Mudryk to his squad. The north London outfit submitted several bids to Shakhtar Donetsk in an attempt to agree a deal but, after learning the Ukrainian side would not budge from their £88million valuation, Chelsea swooped in and agreed a deal within a matter of hours.

Left with the feeling that their deal had been hijacked and with no obvious similar targets to Mudryk available to sign, Arteta opted to sign a player with Premier League experience to boost their ranks in the title race, paying £21m plus add-ons to Brighton to snatch Trossard in a cut-price deal. Ironically, the Blues were keen on him as well.

The Belgian needed little time to adjust to his new surroundings as he helped Arsenal with five assists in his first six appearances. In west London, things proved to be much more tricky for Mudryk, who was having to adapt to a new country where he wasn’t fluent in the language and facing the demands of a higher standard of football.

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And after his latest strike, it is safe to say that Arteta will feel vindicated in his decision. Trossard has been twice as effective and cost three times less than Mudryk, which for a club at the top of the table shows how their recruitment is pointing in the right direction.

By signing Mudryk, Chelsea stopped Arteta from making a potentially costly mistake. It is still too early to write off the 22-year-old, but with no goals and only two assists in 21 appearances so far, Chelsea’s patience is wearing thin while Arsenal are lauding the impact of their super sub.

There is the issue that Trossard, at 28, has a shorter time left in his career at the Emirates than Mudryk does at Stamford Bridge. But the fact is he is having an immediate impact – while Mudryk continues to struggle with his new club nine months after his big-money transfer – will ease any concerns Arteta may have, especially if he helps them win the Premier League this season.

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