Leandro Trossard could be just enough for Arsenal to secure the Premier League title. Now 5 points ahead of Manchester City with a game in hand, each week, the Gunners march ever closer to topping the league for the first time since 2003. Arsenal will still need to face City two times but even if Pep Guardiola's men beat them both times, they'll still need to make up points elsewhere over the back half of the season.
There's no better time to add to a team than when you're already flying high and that's just what Arsenal seems to be doing in Roberto De Zerbi and on an expiring contract, it's time for Brighton to move in a different direction, especially since the surprise contenders for top four already have Kaoru Mitoma to replace Trossard.. The 27-year-old winger has been in great form scoring seven goals and assisting two more, but after a falling out with manager
Arsenal could have rested on their laurels and hoped that the depth they already had was enough to bridge the gap until injured striker Gabriel Jesus returned. It wouldn't have been unreasonable considering that the team is undefeated since Jesus went down with a knee injury during the World Cup. Arsenal have scored nine goals scored in four matches so they weren't exactly strugglig, but rather than risk it, they are showing their intent to bring the title to the Emirates by adding more depth. Trossard is a great option who can play on the wing, or even as a wing back or through the middle depending on what is needed from Mikel Arteta.
It's a presence that will help give the team more options to share the scoring load, taking the pressure off backup striker Eddie Nketiah leading the line, while also offering much needed rest to wingers Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka. Especially with European play returning, quality off the bench will be important. And recent results do show how Trossard can make an impact. He is the type of player who could've turned the tide in Arsenal's 0-0 draw with Newcastle United on January 3rd, a match where Arteta opted not to make an attacking substitution with Takehiro Tomiyasu coming in for Ben White at right back as the side pushed for a goal.
Arteta has talented players like Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos on the bench but given their youth, a title challenge may not be the best time for them to play meaningful minutes. But, being a full Belgian international who has helped lead his team into a race for a Champions League place, Trossard is ready for the expectations at Arsenal.
It's smart business and also a move that shows how Arsenal has gotten to this point. Manchester City doesn't seem likely to make major additions. Manchester United has added Wout Weghorst but they need to offload players even after parting ways with Cristiano Ronaldo. Offering Champions League soccer is also an issue for United, as white they sit in a qualification spot now, their ability to attract talent might rise in the summer if Erik ten Hag can hang on to that top four spot and officially turn things around. Arsenal meanwhile are all but assured of being in Europe's biggest competition next season.
Astoundingly, when it's all said and done, Newcastle United, who currently sit in fourth, could be Arsenal's biggest title rivals, but even they will have issues spending in January to comply with financial fair play. And things are falling apart on the other side of North London with even Antonio Conte not being able to turn Spurs around. If Roma are serious about Nicolo Zaniolo being available in January, that could be enough to get Spurs into a Champions League place but the team is in a fragile place where one mistake can sink them.
In a season where Chelsea and Liverpool have fallen off the pace of the contenders, moving quickly to bolster title chances is critical even if a move for Trossard is a long term financial loss for the Gunners. The intent displayed and additional competition for players currently on the roster will make the risk in adding a want away player well worth the reward.