Aaron Ramsdale had some words of warning for his Arsenal team-mates following Leandro Trossard’s arrival at the club back in the January transfer window. The Gunners goalkeeper had made a few observations from his short time being around the Belgian that he had not joined Arsenal to make up the numbers with Mikel Arteta’s squad.
Last season when the Gunners were flying high at the Premier League summit, Arteta was not required to make any wholesale changes to his starting XI.
But Trossard was a signing that ensured the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka were kept on their toes and it wasn’t long before the former Brighton forward had forced his way into Arteta’s attacking lineup.
Ramsdale told The Fellas podcast in January during a chilling clip that has since resurfaced on social media this week: “Trossard is coming in to take someone’s place in his head, he’s not coming to – it might look like he is coming to be part of the squad, deep down like I was with [Bernd] Leno.
“Like I’ve come to take Leno’s pace, he’s coming to take one of the front three player’s place. So if you start saying ‘oh by the way we’ve signed Trossard’ before it happens, one of them front three might go ‘hang on a minute’.”
The England international shot-stopper was right. Trossard was a signing that saw Arsenal’s attackers sit up and take notice.
In 20 Premier League matches for the Gunners, he picked up 10 assists and scored one goal, numbers that suggest he needed no time to adapt into his new surroundings following the biggest move of his career.
Yet Trossard’s performance levels only seem to have improved over the summer as he has been one of Arsenal’s standout performers in pre-season.
Trossard netted in the 5-0 thrashing of the MLS All-Stars and also bagged twice in the 5-3 win over Barcelona in the United States.
He is undoubtedly knocking on the door for a starting berth and has given Arteta a real headache ahead of the season-opener against Nottingham Forest on August 12.
Upon signing at the Emirates Stadium, Trossard also made it clear he felt his best position was operating as a No.10 – a role that will be hard to nail down due to the quality and class of Martin Odegaard.
“I like to be in the pocket behind the striker. On the wings, I can explore myself as well,” Trossard said
“I’m comfortable in either of those positions but if I were to choose, behind the striker – but it all depends on the system.
“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 is a top coach.”
Trossard is a dream signing for Arteta. He has the character and attitude to raise competition for places within the squad and furthermore, he can play in just about every position across the frontline to a very high level.
He is only going to continue growing and will ensure Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus, Saka and Odegaard cannot afford an off day if they’re to retain their place in the side.
Ramsdale was absolutely right in what he was saying at the time. He could sense Trossard meant business and after an excellent pre-season, the Belgian is out to steal the places of his team-mates ahead of the 2023/24 season.