Talking Tactics

Man Utd must be alert to Trossard threat

By Adrian Clarke 5 Aug 2022
Leandro Trossard, Brighton

Adrian Clarke says the Brighton winger's form against big clubs can spell trouble at Old Trafford

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Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 1.

Leandro Trossard (BHA)

Trossard has experience in tormenting Manchester United and the Brighton & Hove Albion forward will be looking to spoil Erik ten Hag’s first Premier League match in charge.

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The talented Belgian scored once and provided two assists during an exceptional individual display in Brighton’s 4-0 success over United in May.

Cutting inside from the left wing again, he was also outstanding in their 5-1 friendly win against Espanyol last week, netting a quality hat-trick within 14 minutes.

Trossard's hat-trick v Espanyol
Big-match player

Trossard ended 2021/22 in terrific form, scoring four goals in his last six outings for Graham Potter’s side.

Finding the back of the net in memorable victories over Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Man Utd, he comes into the new campaign with plenty of self-belief.

He is gaining a reputation as somebody who shines against the big clubs, with an equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.

Those key contributions played a part in Brighton’s impressive away record.

On their travels to the top eight last season, Brighton won twice, drew four times, and lost just twice.

Trossard's attacking stats 2021/22
Chances created in open play Touches in opp. box
Trossard 43 Trossard  170
Cucurella 40 Maupay 120
Gross 26 Welbeck 75
Total shots Dribbles completed
Trossard 74 Trossard 56
Maupay 61 Bissouma 34
Mac Allister 60 Lamptey 29

Potter likes his players to be versatile and Trossard is no different, featuring as a left-winger or left midfielder, as a right-sided forward, a No 10 and as striker at various points in 2021/22.

Trossard ended the campaign in a hybrid left wing-back/left-forward role and it was a position that suited him greatly.

As the stats above outline, Trossard is very much Brighton’s biggest threat in attack.

He is quick, travels well with the ball and his movement pushes defenders back into their own area.

Once inside the final third, he is also creative, making more chances in open play and shooting more than any of his team-mates.

Wing-back role?

It will be fascinating to see if Potter is bold enough to start Trossard as a wing-back at Old Trafford.

He could be directly up against Jadon Sancho, who would certainly test his defensive resolve in 1v1s.

If that is Trossard’s position on the day, Brighton would ask him to push him forward and see if Sancho is willing to follow him.

United’s players will undoubtedly respect Trossard’s qualities, as they know first-hand just how influential he can be.

Also in this series

Part 1: How Grealish and Haaland can form effective pairing
Part 2: Saliba ready to tackle Palace attack
Part 3: Robertson's attacking prowess could unlock Fulham

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