Arsenal have competed the signing of Leandro Trossard from Brighton; the Gunners have paid an initial £20m with the deal potentially reaching £27m in add-ons; watch Arsenal vs Manchester United live on Sky Sports Premier League this Super Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm
Arsenal have signed Brighton’s Leandro Trossard for £27m
Arsenal have completed the £27m signing of Brighton attacker Leandro Trossard.
The Gunners are paying an initial £20m up front with a further £7m coming in add-ons. Arsenal and Mikel Arteta believe they submitted the registration paperwork in time for Trossard to be eligible to face Manchester United on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
The 28-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the option for a further year.
“We are really happy to have him,” said manager Arteta in his pre-match press conference ahead of the United game.
“He’s a player we have followed for a while now. The opportunity came and we have the necessity to have a player in the front line that is versatile enough to play in different positions. He knows the league, he has experience here and he can have an immediate impact in the team.
“We have to think short term but also medium and long-term. He gives us all that. When you look at his career and what he’s done in the last few years he’s a player that fits our way of playing for sure.”
Trossard will reunite with his former manager at Genk and Arteta’s assistant Albert Stuivenberg in north London, with Arteta revealing that his No 2 “gave me a good reference, not just now but for a good few years”.
Meanwhile, speaking about the Arsenal coaching team, Trossard told the club’s website: “They told me they really like me as a player, that I would really suit the system and how they want to play.
“It helps me that I’m versatile and that I can play in different positions. They’re looking forward to working with me and vice versa. I’m really excited to work with them and I think Mikel [Arteta] is a top coach.
“I like to be in the pocket behind the striker. On the wings, I can explore myself as well. I’m comfortable in either of those positions but if I were to choose, behind the striker – but it all depends on the system.
“This has been my best season in the Premier League until now. We did a great job at Brighton and my form has been really good. Obviously I haven’t played much since the World Cup since my situation [at Brighton] but I’m so excited to start at Arsenal and show myself at a top club to help the team.”
Arsenal moved for the Belgium international after missing out on Mykhailo Mudryk, who joined Chelsea from Shakhtar Donetsk on January 15.
De Zerbi: Situation difficult | Tough to replace him in market
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi:
“The situation was difficult because I understood he wanted to leave. I’m sorry for the last period, because I preferred [to play] the players who were clear, and not having some different behaviours.
“We will see whether we replace him. We are a good team anyway, and we can play well with Leo or without Leo.
“I think in the transfer window, you can always improve and bring in new players. But we are a good XI now, the players in the squad are very good players. It’s not easy to improve.
“If Tony [Bloom] and the club have the possibility to improve the squad, we will do something.”
Analysis: Trossard deal good for both clubs
“This is a good deal for both clubs. As far as Arsenal are concerned, they walked away from the deal for Mykhailo Mudryk and now sign someone who has got Premier League experience.
“This is a less risky signing than Mudryk, although I think he will turn out to be a fantastic signing for Chelsea.
“Brighton are getting big money for a player they signed around three-and-a-half years ago for £15m. He’s 28 now and was unhappy at Brighton.
“I don’t think they’re going to miss him that much because they’ve got Kaoru Mitoma, who has been in absolutely incredible form over the past couple of months.”
At 28 years old (he’s 28 until he’s 29, just so we’re clear), Leandro Trossard differs in profile from Arsenal’s other recent signings. This is a player for the here and now. Experience over potential.
He might not set pulses racing like the explosive Mykhailo Mudryk, a player Arsenal regarded as a future superstar, but while his ceiling is not as high, Trossard offers plenty the Ukrainian does not.
For a start, there is the Premier League experience he has gained at Brighton, where he has made 116 appearances across four seasons, missing only a handful of games and scoring a healthy number of goals, with seven of his 25 coming this season.
That experience makes him a safe bet to slot straight in at Arsenal, which is precisely what is needed given their reliance on Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka as they seek to sustain their title challenge.
Trossard’s versatility is another asset. He is primarily a left winger, much like Mudryk, but this season he has also featured at No 10, as a false nine, and even at left wing-back. Graham Potter, Roberto De Zerbi’s predecessor, also used him on the right.
Mikel Arteta has often spoken of how highly he values players who can slot into different roles and Trossard, who is also a senior international for Belgium, can offer depth right across the frontline.
He looks a good fit stylistically too. De Zerbi felt his effort levels had dropped off in recent weeks amid the speculation around his future but the statistics highlight an impressive work-rate, with only three players – Kevin De Bruyne, Martin Odegaard and Jack Harrison – winning possession in the final third more times this season.
His age means he would not arrive with huge scope for improvement or re-sale value, but his contractual situation makes him a relatively cheap option and his proven quality is appealing.
Arsenal close to signing Spezia’s Kiwior
Arsenal are close to signing Spezia central defender Jakub Kiwior in a deal understood to be worth £20m.
Sky Italy are reporting the player will fly into the UK over the weekend for a medical. Personal terms are not expected to be a problem.
Kiwior has been capped nine times by Poland and started all four of their games at the World Cup.
Arsenal have been looking for a left-sided central defender to provide competition for Gabriel.
Kiwior will have a medical this weekend ahead of joining on a contract until 2027, with Arsenal having a an option to extend the contract by 12-months.
If all gets done before Sunday’s game against Manchester United, he could be in attendance at the Emirates.