Talking Tactics

Man Utd v Arsenal: Why Trossard can make the difference

By Adrian Clarke 11 May 2024
Trossard Talking Tactics

Adrian Clarke explains why Gunners will want their best chances to fall to their two-footed winger

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Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be influential in Matchweek 37.

Player analysis - Leandro Trossard (Arsenal)

When a big chance falls their way at Old Trafford this Sunday, Arsenal would like it to land at the feet of Trossard.

The Belgian has outperformed Brazilian team-mates Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus this season with a string of influential displays to earn himself a regular starting berth down the left.

Sliding inside to become a "second striker" he has executed several ice-cool finishes with either foot.

For that reason, Trossard will be trusted by Mikel Arteta to start in Sunday’s huge encounter at Manchester United.

The stats from 2023/24 reflect that he is currently Arsenal’s most efficient forward.

Top Arsenal forwards 23/24
Mins per goal Conversion rate*
Trossard 136.5 Trossard 27.5%
Saka 178.2 Havertz 26.1%
Havertz 204.9 Saka 25.4%

* Minimum five goals

Superb adaptability

Across the last five seasons, Trossard has also been the most regular two-footed goalscorer.

Of his 37 top flight goals, 57 per cent (21) have been with his stronger right foot, with 38 per cent (14) coming from his left.

PL goals scored since start of 2022/23
Player Goals Left foot Right foot Head
Trossard  19 10 (52.6%) 8 (42.1%) 1 (5.3%)
Jota 17 6 (35.3%) 9 (52.9%) 2 (11.8%)
Wissa  17 5 (29.4%) 9 (52.9%) 3 (17.7%)
Wood  15 5 (33.3%) 5 (33.3%) 5 (33.3%)
Jesus 15 4 (26.7%) 5 (33.3%) 6 (40.0%)

That split puts him just ahead of Liverpool’s Diogo Jota across the same period, which means he is the best when it comes to two-footed players with at least 30 goals. 

The breakdown of Trossard's goals for Arsenal and former club Brighton & Hove Albion, shows how varied his finishing is.

Trossard Premier League goals
Trossard 37 goals
Going both ways

This valuable attribute is a huge asset for the Gunners at key moments.

Trossard can improvise in tight areas better than most, and his ability to shift the ball past defenders on either side makes him a nightmare to contain in a 1v1, or from fast breaks.

His Premier League goal split in 2023/24 reads six right foot, four left foot and one header.

When defenders show Trossard down the line, as Liverpool did at Emirates Stadium, he can fire off accurate shots with his slightly weaker left, as indicated in the graphic below.

TrossLiv

Alternatively, he is fantastic at cutting inside, arrowing curlers into the far corner, just as he did in the 6-0 win at West Ham United.

TrossWHU
Brilliant on the break

The quality of Trossard’s finishing is renowned, but he is also a willing runner - and that is another reason why Arteta is such a big fan.

He raced through from the halfway line to score a brilliant 1v1 goal at former club Brighton, and earlier on this season Trossard rounded off a sensational counter attack at home to Crystal Palace, from a lightning fast move that began with goalkeeper David Raya.

On that occasion he ran from the edge of his own box to clinically despatch a pass from Jesus.

Trossard also made a magnificently timed sprint to overlap Declan Rice from a switch of play to open the scoring in their recent 5-0 rout of Chelsea.

Goals like these show Arteta that Trossard can fill the athletic void which is left when Martinelli does not start.

Trossard’s trademark

In the UEFA Champions League, Trossard scored three similar goals against Bayern Munich, Sevilla, and PSV Eindhoven at Emirates Stadium.

Running onto a squared pass he swept home one touch right-footed finishes on all three occasions, whipping the ball into the bottom corner.

Last time out against AFC Bournemouth he produced another identical strike after Rice had laid the ball off to him.

TRossCherries

Very few players are as reliable with this specific finish than Trossard, so whenever passes are squared to him against Man Utd it will be imperative for the hosts to close him down.

When you analyse the assists he has received in league action this season, it is clear how square or slightly angled passes from right to left have helped to create goals for the Arsenal star.

He thrives in those situations.

Trossard Premier League 2023/24 assists received
Trossard assists received

The 29-year-old has had to be patient to earn his chance, but as the title race reaches the final two Matchweeks, he has much become first-choice for Arteta.

Needing two wins from their last two matches to push Manchester City all the way, the Gunners will want their most accomplished chance convertors on the pitch for as long as possible.

Trossard tops that list. He is a very cool customer inside the opposition box.

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