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Arteta expects immediate impact as Trossard set for debut against Man Utd

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 Jan 2023

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is confident Leandro Trossard can make an “immediate impact” as he prepares to give the Belgian his debut against Manchester United on Sunday.

Trossard signed a long-term deal, which is thought to run until 2027, at Emirates Stadium on Friday after completing a reported £27million move from Brighton and Hove Albion.

The 28-year-old Belgium international had been keen to leave Brighton following a falling-out with coach Roberto De Zerbi, who criticised the winger’s attitude earlier this month after taking him out of the team.

Arsenal acted swiftly to bring Trossard to the club after missing out on primary target Mykhaylo Mudryk last week, with the Ukraine winger joining Chelsea instead.

While Gunners fans had been eager for Mudryk to join, there is a perception Trossard represents less risky business given his Premier League experience and that he cost roughly a third of what Chelsea paid to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Arteta expects Trossard to adapt quickly, and confirmed he is in line to face Manchester United on Sunday, with the north Londoners hoping to open an 11-point gap between themselves and Erik ten Hag’s men in third.

“Well, he trained today [Friday], so hopefully he will be [available on Sunday]. Yes. I think [all the paperwork is done], I think he’s good to go,” Arteta told reporters.

“He’s a player we followed for a while now. The opportunity came, we have the necessity, obviously, to have a player in the frontline that is versatile enough to play in different positions.

“He knows the league, has enough experience here, and I think he can have an immediate impact in the team.

“In the summer we were looking for a player in that position and we were unable to do it. It’s something this squad needed, obviously with the injuries of Gabby [Gabriel Jesus] and Reiss [Nelson].

“We are really short in the front line and we needed reinforcements, and we found in Leandro a player who fits everything we want.”

The signing of Trossard, given his age, marks a departure from Arsenal’s recent transfer policy of focusing on young players.

However, with Arsenal leading the Premier League and hoping to win their first title since 2004, Arteta emphasised how crucial he felt it was to bring in a player who would be able to give them what they need straight away.

“Very important, we have to think short term but also medium and long term, and I think he gives all that,” Arteta said.

“He’s a very intelligent player. When you look at his career, what he’s done in the last few years, he’s a player who fits our way of playing, for sure, and we are happy to have him.”

Trossard will have found a familiar face in the Arsenal changing room, with Arteta’s assistant Albert Stuivenberg formerly the player’s coach at Genk.

The Dutchman was able to provide a glowing reference of Trossard’s character, even if De Zerbi’s recent criticism of his attitude might have caused concern among fans.

“Albert gave me a really, really good reference, but not for now, for a few years [ago],” Arteta said.

“We talk about everything that is connected, about players we know we want to recruit because character is something crucial, but as well to understand how they are, how they behave, whether they can accept the role they’re going to have at the club with us, and then personal conversations. Obviously they are very important as well.”

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