Arsenal are more likely to win the Premier League with Trossard than Mudryk

Will Ford
Arsenal target Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring a goal in Premier League

Mykhaylo Mudryk could be a star of the Premier League for the next decade, but Arsenal need someone for the here and now. Leandro Trossard is a shrewd move for the title-chasers.

We know we shouldn’t use social media as a yardstick for well, anything, but we were unexpectedly drawn in to gauge reaction to Leandro Trossard’s apparently imminent move to Arsenal by ‘He’s 28′ trending on Twitter.

In the hope of reliving the altogether more fun Arsenal transfer conflab that involved one Gunner’s confusion over how birthdays work and the other’s insistence that Jackson Martinez was in fact ’28 until he becomes 29’, we instead came across thousands of people – both Arsenal fans and others – questioning and laughing at Mikel Arteta and Edu’s decision to buy a very fine 28-year-old forward, proven in the Premier League, for a very reasonable price.

Arsenal have reportedly offered £20m and have agreed personal terms with Trossard, for whom Brighton want £26m.

Fan reticence would be more understandable were it based on their concerns over his character, after Trossard’s fall out with Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi. Not that it should actually be a concern, with Trossard acting no differently to innumerable footballers who have downed tools at a club to force a transfer.

But his age, given the transfer fee, shouldn’t be cause for mockery by outsiders or disappointment in the case of the fans. If anything, it’s a positive. Arsenal have got the youngest team in the Premier League, which is great for the future, but their focus in the January transfer window should be entirely on the present and what they can do now to improve their chances of winning the title.

Trossard is currently being, and will forever be, compared to Mykahylo Mudryk. Anyone Arsenal bought as an alternative to their top target would have been sneered at. Until Mudryk actually plays for Chelsea, at which point further snap judgements will be made, the Ukrainian will be seen as a generational talent who is, crucially, six years Trossard’s junior.

Mudryk could be a Premier League star for the next decade; Trossard will not. Mudryk also has the potential to become one of the best players in the world, because he’s already pretty good and has plenty of time to improve. But Mudryk also cost Chelsea three times as much as Trossard, has no experience in the English top flight and may not be cut out for it. He’s at least unlikely to arrive and hit the ground running. Trossard is a far safer bet in that regard.

It seems Arteta is creating something special at Arsenal, and Mudryk admittedly would have made the future look brighter than Trossard. But Arsenal’s rivals show no sign of letting up in their bids to challenge. Chelsea will spend until they’re back in the mix, Manchester City and Newcastle have endless cash reserves. Erik ten Hag has somehow made Manchester United both good and likeable in no time at all. Jurgen Klopp is committed to Liverpool and few would bet against him building a second title-winning team.

Although it looks as though things can only get better for Arsenal, they may not get another chance like this to win the Premier League, and a 28-year-old with experience is more likely to have a significant impact in the remaining four months of the campaign than a 22-year-old with none.

Arteta and Edu have built a squad full of young talent who can grow together and could become a long-lasting world-beating group. And yes, Mudryk could have been a part of that. But having failed to get their top target, who could have played a huge role in future successes, they’ve turned to someone who is more likely to make the difference now.

Trossard’s got seven Premier League goals and three assists already this season, and having played for Brighton under Graham Potter, can operate anywhere across the front line and even at wing-back. He’s a very talented footballer, who can be used in multiple positions and will be signed below his market value. Even four months of Trossard is worth £26m if they win the Premier League.

And it’s not as though Arsenal wouldn’t then sign that generational forward they’re after. Trossard just looks like another smart buy from canny operators who refuse to panic when hijacked. Even without evidence provided through Trossard’s excellence this season, Arsenal fans should be excited to be nearing another addition to their squad purely because their club wants them, as they have got pretty much every move absolutely spot on in the last three seasons.

‘He’s 28’. Nice.

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