The Brighton attacker is moving from the Amex Stadium to the Emirates, and his arrival is sure to have a knock-on effect on the current attacking stars at the club
Arsenal have found the additional attacking option they wanted in Leandro Trossard, but the Belgian’s arrival from Brighton isn’t likely to have gone down well with every Gunners star.
Trossard’s ability to play in several positions in the attack will serve him well as he becomes the newest addition to Mikel Arteta’s Premier League title chasers, but it will also have a knock-on effect on the players already there.
Here’s the state of play with all of them.
The one who is untouchable: Bukayo Saka
No-one is shifting Saka from the Arsenal side right now, and Trossard wouldn’t expect to anyway.
Aside from the fact that we don’t often see the Belgian play on the right, Saka is playing as well as anyone in the Premier League right now, and he has evolved to become one of the very best right sided attackers in the world game.
Trossard will have been signed to complement him, not replace him.
Their first significant injury of the campaign, there were plenty of prophecies of doom for Arsenal when Gabriel Jesus returned from Qatar on crutches.
So far they’ve managed without him pretty well though.
Eddie Nketiah has stepped up, but there is no doubt that another option is attack has been needed in order to provide greater depth, and Trossard provides that.
His arrival means the Gunners can afford to be patient with Jesus, who they’ll want 100 per cent fit for the end of the season.
The one who can be adaptable: Emile Smith Rowe
One of the best bits of Arsenal news in recent weeks is the return of Smith Rowe, who got 15 minutes off the bench at Oxford in the FA Cup and then got on for the late mayhem in the north London derby.
Capable of playing on that left side that Trossard will likely want to call home, he can also do a fine job through the centre, and it might well be that he becomes a valuable understudy to Martin Odegaard in some games in season’s latter weeks.
Whatever happens in terms of his game-time though he will remain a valued squad member.
The one who would benefit from a rest: Gabriel Martinelli
As he has rocketed past 100 Arsenal appearances this season, it has been easy to forget that Martinelli is still just 21.
The Brazilian has featured in all 18 of the Gunners’ Premier League games this campaign, and while he’s been hugely effective in most of them there is no doubt that he could benefit from a rest from time to time.
Trossard, who is most at home on the left of a front three, will provide Arteta with a highly-skilled, Premier League-ready option to play on that side, either coming on as a substitute late in games or starting the odd one.
Arteta will need Martinelli at his dazzling best late in the season, and this is a move that can certainly help with that.
The one doing a great job: Eddie Nketiah
Jesus’ injury was always billed as Nketiah’s big chance in the Gunners attack, and the forward has certainly taken it.
Adding more goals than the Brazilian, there is a very real sense that he is more of a natural goalscorer than the former Manchester City man, and he’s playing in a way that means Arteta is likely to want him on the pitch when he needs a goal.
His position as a No.9 should be safe from Trossard, but again the Belgian will be a valuable rotation option.
The one who could be on the way out: Reiss Nelson
As he enters the final six months of his Arsenal deal, the arrival of Trossard might well spell the end for Nelson.
The Londoner has enjoyed profitable loan spells at Hoffenheim and Feyenoord, but at 23 he’s at a difficult stage of his career where he must be considering his future.
He’ll want to stay at the Emirates for the rest of this season at least with so much at stake, and he’s still good enough to contribute to the Gunners across the different competitions, but it could well be that a parting of the ways is best for everyone in the summer.
The one who is enjoying himself: Marquinhos
At just 19, there is nothing that will stop Marquinhos’ enjoyment at playing for Arsenal right now.
As one of the younger members of what is already a young squad, he’s featured six times for the first-team this season with all but one of those games coming in cup competitions.
And that is absolutely fine for him right now.
All young players go through similar acclimatising moments, even ones who have come through the academy at a club, and he shouldn’t be too worried about the new signing.
The one who surely won’t come back: Nicolas Pepe
Trossard’s arrival looks even better business when you contrast it with some of the Gunners’ recent buys, most notably the £72m Pepe.
Try as he might, Arteta just couldn’t get a tune out of the Ivorian, and there was little surprise when the former Lille man left for Nice on loan this season.
He’s done well there, scoring eight goals in 23 games as part of that eclectic bunch of players who in most cases have had their better days elsewhere, but with one year left on his deal there would appear to be little chance of a return to the Emirates next season.
Another Arsenal player impressing on loan in France, Balogun has enjoyed a terrific season with Reims and currently sits in the top 10 Ligue 1 scorers this season, one off Neymar.
There was much talk around the 21-year-old’s future when it had looked as though Arsenal were going to lose him for free, and he’ll be returning to the Emirates in the summer expecting to be a part of Arteta’s picture for 2023-24.
Trossard may well get in the way of that, but he’ll back himself to oust him.