Matchweek Moments: Trossard’s Triple
By Ian Katan
Despite dropping valuable points in February, Arsenal are still flying five points clear at the top of the Premier League table. This weekend, a dominant victory over Fulham solidified their return to form and took them one step closer to the title, thanks to new signing Leandro Trossard’s hat trick of assists.
Even before halftime, Trossard had assisted three different teammates and secured a 3-0 win for the Gunners. While no assist was particularly eye-catching in itself — coming from a corner kick, a hopeful chip into a dangerous area and a long switch that was overshadowed by Martin Odegaard’s gorgeous close control — the fact that Trossard has integrated so well into the Arsenal style and creates these dangerous chances is what’s most important.
The Belgian winger has been a huge addition since his arrival in January, shown especially by his good work setting up Gabriel Martinelli for the second goal of the game. He understood his positional responsibility and stayed wide even though he was technically the center forward, timed his run perfectly with Granit Xhaka’s pass and skillfully created space to lift in a cross that Martinelli headed home. The free-flowing attack and awareness of his teammates’ intentions is a direct result of the time spent in training, and now it’s making an impact on the pitch.
Trossard’s transfer in January was helped by disagreements with Roberto De Zerbi, his previous coach at Brighton. De Zerbi allowed Trossard to leave for only $25 million in the winter window, and for an experienced Premier League goal-scorer, that price tag is turning out to be one of Arsenal’s best finds. He seamlessly clicked with the new squad and has featured in nearly every game since joining.
Arsenal’s main striker, Gabriel Jesus, was injured at the World Cup, and thanks to a number of players including Trossard, his absence has not been too costly. Along with Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah stepping up to fill Jesus’ void, Trossard’s arrival has ensured that Arsenal’s attack stays as dangerous as ever. His versatility has seen him play both centrally and on the wing, which gives Arsenal extra depth at every attacking position. Jesus will have an effortless return from injury as he slips back into the highly skilled rotation.
This depth of talent will be key for the North London club heading into the final 11 games of the season. In recent years, Manchester City have been able to separate themselves by having nearly two full teams on their roster, either of which could compete with most teams in the league. This deep quality allows them to rotate players in and out to manage minutes, rest injuries and adapt to opposing styles of play as needed. With Trossard’s arrival, Arsenal are starting to match this level of depth and will be able to benefit from rotating and resting key players as well.
Further, Arsenal are showing they have what it takes to find multiple ways to win games, which is exactly what hopeful champions need to do. Since dropping eight points last month, they’ve reestablished their mental determination and perseverance by earning two thrilling late victories against Aston Villa and Bournemouth, a hard-fought win over Leicester in which Trossard assisted the only goal as well, and completely dismantling Everton before doing the same to Fulham this week.
While not a flashy or expensive signing, Leandro Trossard is an underrated addition that will give another dynamic option to Mikel Arteta’s side. His triple assist performance against Fulham is a clear demonstration of his all-around threat and how well he fits into Arsenal’s system. The depth he brings, coupled with his team’s ability to win different types of games, will carry the Gunners closer and closer to their first Premier League title in 19 years.