During the soccer transfer window, there are two types of deals. On one hand, you have a well-reported transfer that developers into a lengthy saga. There are multiple offers, some intense negotiations, and plenty of updates on social media. On the other hand, though, you’ll occasionally have a transfer that simply appears out of nowhere. Arsenal’s potential move for Leandro Trossard sits firmly in the latter camp.
On Thursday morning, news broke that the Gunners were apparently making some decent headway toward signing the Brighton man. And while no one in North London will relax until everything is official, we can still draw some conclusions from the reported interest.
Unlike other Arsenal transfers, this isn’t a deal for the future. Instead, it shows that Mikel Arteta and Edu know that this year could be special and are trying to strengthen their current hand.
Leandro Trossard wants to leave Brighton, and Arsenal are apparently prepared to help make that happen
While it’s easy to forget at times, professional athletes are human beings who are capable of experiencing the same types of workplace issues that we do. Leandro Trossard is an example of that. Despite being Brighton’s leading scorer this season, the Belgian fell out with his boss and is looking for a new job.
As detailed by the BBC, Trossard and manager Roberto De Zerbi disagree over a recent series of events. The player’s camp claims that he left training due to a calf injury that the club was aware of, while the Italian asserts that Trossard didn’t inform him of a problem. While we don’t know who’s telling the truth, Trossard was dropped from the Brighton squad.
In light of that disagreement, the forward is apparently looking for a new club. And, based on the updates that emerged on Thursday morning, Arsenal are prepared to make that happen.
“Arsenal have opened talks to sign Leandro Trossard from Brighton, negotiations are advanced with official bid ready for permanent move,” Fabrizio Romano said on Twitter. “Personal terms already agreed — talks will continue to get deal done soon.”
That wasn’t the entirety of the update, though.
“More on Trossard deal scoop. Been told tslks [sic] are very advanced as Arsenal are prepared to close tje [sic] deal in the next hours. Not early stages but progressing fast for permanent move,” Romano explained in a subsequent tweet. “Full agreement reached on personal terms, it will be long-term contract for Trossard.”
David Ornstein shared his view on the situation shortly after.
“Arsenal working on a deal to sign Leandro Trossard from Brighton & Hove Albion. Clubs in talks – no agreement yet but 28 Belgium international attacker among those #AFC considering & situation developing,” he tweeted.
Trossard isn’t a ‘project’ player, which suggests that Arsenal are recognizing that this season could be special
Ever since Mikel Arteta’s project began, Arsenal have almost unilaterally purchased the same type of player: one who’s young, hungry, and capable of growing with the rest of the squad. While Leandro Trossard, however, doesn’t fit that mold.
While the Belgian isn’t a dinosaur counting down the days until retirement, he is 28 years old. That reality, combined with Romano’s use of the word “long-term,” probably means that an Arsenal contract will probably be Trossard’s last major deal.
That’s the sort of situation that Arsenal have generally tried to avoid. After being reliant on highly paid veterans like Alexandre Lacazette, Sokratis, and Pierre Emerick-Aubamayang, all of who declined over the course of their contracts and ultimately left London for free, the club has targeted the opposite end of the aging curve. Take someone like Fabio Vieria, for example. The Gunners acted proactively to snag the young Portuguese creator. If he develops into a star, great. If he never finds his feet, he’ll still be a sellable asset.
Trossard, again, doesn’t fit that bill. Furthermore, Brighton won’t sell him for peanuts, even if the entire world knows that he wants to leave, making the chances of the Gunners recouping their investment even less likely.
So, based on that, what conclusions can we draw about Arsenal? Without being in the club’s board room, this reads as a pretty clear indication that Arteta, Edu, and everyone else realize this season could be a special opportunity. Principles are all well and good, but you can make some small compromises when there’s a chance to win the Premier League.
And, to be clear, Trossard will make Arsenal better, at least in the short term. The Belgian is versatile, providing some extra depth across the front line and the midfield. He’s also Brighton’s leading goal-scorer this year and found the back of the net in matches against Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City. At this point, Arteta would probably be more than happy to have an extra offensive string to his bow; with Gabriel Jesus injured, the Gunners’ bench has been looking rather thin.
Assuming the Trossard transfer gets over the line, this is as much of a win-now move as we’ve seen from the current iteration of Arsenal. And while that does carry some risks, especially at the latter end of a long-term contract, it seems like those are worth the potential reward.
And, if the reward is a Premier League title, no one in North London will complain about the potential consequences.