Leandro, Welcome to The Arsenal

All main sports news outlets are telling us that Trossard has signed for Arsenal. We needed like for like cover for our LW position for a long time, and the Belgian Seagull seems just the man.

Martinelli and Trossard both have scored 7 and assisted two goals so far this season, with our new signing doing it in two games fewer. With around 25 games to play Arsenal just could not risk not signing proper cover. No doubt ‘rods trod Arsenal’ (an anagram of Leandro Trossard) will want to become the Nr1 on the left. There will be healthy competition between the two, and his arrrival will also allow Arsenal to sell Martinelli if he pushes for a move in the next two or three years (which I for one predict to happen).

Emile can also play on the left but but he is injury prone and a different type of player to Trossard or Martinelli. ESR can play in Xhaka’s and Odegaard’s positions, where I think he will flourish more.

Nelson should be cover and competition for Saka, but he is injury prone and it just feels he is probably not going to make it. Marquinos may usurp him soon.

I would imagine Trossard can play on both wings, and maybe also in Xhaka’s more advanced position these days.

He is relatively cheap for an experienced and proven PL player. For example, the gorgeously carved Jack Grealish was about four times more expensive and his impact has been minimum since his arrival.

It remains to be seen whether this move will work out for both parties. It’s not without risk of course. Willian and Mkhitaryan for example did not work out for us at all.

But we need extra firepower and a proven PL LW for £21-25m is worth the gamble IMHO.

Welcome to the Arsenal, Leandro.

What do you think, fellow Gooners.

By TotalArsenal

75 thoughts on “Leandro, Welcome to The Arsenal

  • Indeed TA welcome to arsenal Mr. Trossard I was secretly hoped we would be in for him after hearing he was on the market as he always impressed me. Great price and with experience I reckon Mikel will integrate him into the group well. Sure it is a risk but every signing is a risk and I am sure for a while he will want to put his best foot forward to impress. I reckon with Arsenal challenging for the title he will be content with being a squad player for the rest of the season coming from his situaton. Remember Auba fell out of favor here and at Dortmund but left a good impression at Barcelona so Trossard is likely going to be on his best behavior (but there are two sides of the story as well).

  • Playing the lively Julian Alvarez at AM is a half player advantage to the opponent. Apparently Man City cannot afford that against Tottenham, who play clearly better with Bentancur back in the team.

    By the way, Chelsea is rumored to sign ex-Tottenham youth Noni Madueke making their attacking department (including AMs) 11, while Lukaku is still on loan. Sterling and Pulisic will have some difficulties coming back from injuries, and they still haven’t sorted out their striker issue.

  • Impressive rotation by both teams something we lack sorely and we have been relatively fortunate with injuries so I am hoping we do only make a run in Europa league not the FA Cup.

  • TA, it’s a great summary for Trossard and a genius play on words with the anagram.

    The strengths are clear: Leandro is versatile, ha has PL experience and has a lot to prove. Yet he came for a reasonable price (I wouldn’t say cheap, as he only worth 30M according to TransferMarkt), and most likely for a reasonable salary. He is very disciplined with only 20 yellow cards in his entire career (Martinelli has 9 in about 25% of the playing minutes, Saka already has 21). Trossard has a tendency to show up at big games (3 goals against Liverpool, becoming MotM in the 4:1 win against Chelsea). So there are indeed promising signs.

    The downsides are no secrets either. Apart from a year in Belgium he never had a really prolific season (8-10 goal contributions in the PL, 12-16 in lesser leagues per season), and he is uncharacteristically old to be part of the Arteta project (he is 28 now and will be almost 33 when his contract runs out). What concerns me most is that we never really scouted him or had him in our radar – nor had any other major clubs to be honest. OK, we were linked to Leonardo in 2019, but mostly due to Mislintat leaving the club the opportunity wasn’t that attractive for the management to follow through. So it does seem a bit ad hoc (or almost panic) buying. Which might not be the case, but we’ll never know, as managers and sporting directors hardly admit such. The other worrying aspect is Trossard’s falling out with De Zerbi, who is doing fine work at Brighton. Anyway, I don’t know the details, but Arteta went the extra mile to get rid of the big ego players to have a productive, constructive atmosphere at the club, let’s hope that Leonardo’s arrival will not disrupt that. And finally – as usually – I worry for the limited opportunities and playing time Trossard’s signing affect on Smith-Rowe and Cozier-Duberry.

    Anyway, the case is complex, let’s give time for the Belgian to prove his worth, and Arteta to find his best place and tactics. I don’t expect him to play against the Manchester teams, but could maybe debut at5 Goodison Park, or in the Emirates against Brentford.

    Welcome and godspeed!

  • Besides injuries Saka is on 4 yellows ESR is coming off an injury layoff and could have a setback not to mention may take time to hit his stride I will trust Mikel on this one not that mistakes have not been made before like Willian but a lot he has done is working so he earns my trust being with the lads in training everyday to know what the group was lacking. Besides minutes should be earned and with all these games coming up everyone will have ample opportunities to impress.

  • Marez was out in the cold for a while for City but new signings and competition are bringing the best out of him I think Mikel wants to have more headaches when it comes to team selection and that is healthy imo.

  • Good text on Trossard TA.
    I like the now-aspect of the signing. Although not as exciting as Mudryk you have to consider him more of a safe bet given he has been solid in the PL for years. Seems a great rotational option on both flanks and will give GM11 and BS7 some well deserved rest. Im happy for the signing.

  • Yes Makayah, not without risk but Arteta and Edu will have looked at his character, and as far as I know there is just the one incident. And yes there are usually two sides to each story. BHA will be glad to still cash in before it is too late, and maybe they co-created the ‘incident’.

  • PB, good comment. The pros seem stronger than your cons. Arteta wants more bench strength and Trossard adds a bit of maturity to the team too. Look how important Xhaka and Partey are.

    You make a good point about him playing well in the big games. He seems fearless and he may well score a couple of crucial goals against key competition this season. Let’s hope so.

  • I get to be the black sheep in the happy family, I guess …
    Welcome Leandro I agree with though; I’m just about to say I think you should have had nothing to do with my club, ever, but nothing personal about that, it’s just (football) business. So …
    Leandro Trossard is an average player, who has spent his whole career playing for average clubs, and delivering average performances most of the time. I just can’t see how he’s supposed to fit in the best European team of the moment (just a fact here: this is what the leaders of Premier League are). He’s an international player, but got his first callup at 26, because Belgium’s golden generation is now past its prime, and the worthy successors are nowhere to be found. For the national team, he’s done what average players who’ve been called upon after a brilliant spell with their average club of the moment do, namely: nothing. But he scored 3 goals away at Anfield once, which youtube, twitter, and so on, have re-runned over, over, and over again and this, after the amount of money the club was about to spend on the basis of Mudryk highlights, makes you wonder what the scouting strategy of this club really is.
    What irks me, really, is that now we’ve spent I don’t know exactly how many millions on him, he’ll cuckoo his spot into the team, in the nest that should have been Reiss’s, Emil’s, and/or Amario’s. I’m really starting to resent whatever game Mikel-Edu-Venkatesham are playing with Hale End.
    Lokonga is not half the player Joe Willock is, but now we’re stuck with his £20M lazy body, while our boy, who was never, ever, given a fair chance, shines in one of our rivals’outfit. Then we have £40M 22-y-o Vieira, who’s just had a decent game against a 3rd-tier-team – hats off to him – who has robbed 19-y-o Patino of the playing time that should’ve been his, not to mention the training sessions with the first team, during which the lad could’ve taken on Zinchenko, Xhaka, White, BigGab, Saliba, Partey on a daily basis, and thus improved considerably. Should I mention Marquinhos? Edu must have humored some of his Brazilian buddies when he bought him, which might pay off some day, but the truth is he got us a beach-soccer player, who’s been blocking Reiss’s road at the start of the season, as well as Cozier-Duberry’s now.
    Now, Trossard … well, since Amario’s promotion isn’t even considered, obviously, and since Emil might get playing time as Eddie’s backup, Reiss is the one who’ll pay the actual price for the deal. Reiss is a better player than Trossard, but he was already a better player than Pépé, or Arsenal’s Willian – and was treated like dirt then, all the same. Mikel-Edu are doing a great job at destroying a young Gooner-at-heart career, you have to give ‘em that, you have to admire the consistency.
    But Leandro’s got himself a “long-term-contract”, which also means that Amario’s horizon in the red-and-white is but a mirage, now. For the truth is Arteta hasn’t promoted one single Academy player in 3 seasons, and has already done all he could to make two of its classier graduates ever (Joe, Reiss) feel like they should claim sanctuary elsewhere. And now we’re supposed to save an insane amount money for Rice, which means that we’ll never get to see lads like Ibrahim/Lewis-Skelly play Premier League football for us.
    Splashing £100M (one-hundred-million-pounds !!) on Sambi-Fabio-Marqui-Leandro, while your academy had just given you, for free, such wonderkids as Emil-Reiss-Joe-Amario, is as insane to me as Pacino drowning in powder at the end of “Scarface”, or Nolan’s Joker setting alight a mountain of dollars in “The Dark Knight”.
    What a shame, what a betrayal of what this club’s supposed to stand for.

  • A good solid performer who can fill a variety of roles, Premier ready, not too old and not too inexperienced like Marquinhos, Arteta will not shy away from using him and he scores goals, sensibly priced with incentives, what’s not to like, it will also be very interesting to see how many goals Trossard ends up with and to compare it with Mudryk, not least to compare whose won honours and to compare the european competitions they qualify for in 2023/24.

    We’re also linked with another forward, about 24, but I’ll sit on it…

  • Passionate stuff, Legall. I think you totally overestimate the level of the youngsters you mention. But you are not the only romantic in Goonerdom. I appreciate your views but a petit peu humility seems appropriate my friend. 🙂

  • Arteta has awarded debuts to Miguel Azeez, Ben Cottrell, Karl Hein, Foloran Balogun Charlie Patino and Ethan Nwaneiri. To be honest some of them haven’t pushed on, some have suffered injuries and a couple will definitely join the senior squad next season, with every game being life and death it’s increasingly difficult for a top six club to bring players through, but I respect your opinion ami…

  • That’s was one hell of a critique but if I’m being Total,y honest mon ami I was finding it tedious when Arsenal were being described as a finishing school and a club that couldn’t compete for the big prizes.

  • I’m a huge admirer of this player and wanted him in the summer as forward depth, I actually preferred him to Neto. He’s an energetic bulldog, has power and is hard to knock off the ball.

    Very 2 footed, and he knows how to press (hard). He can play anywhere up front.

    Another bonus, he’s ready to play today.. so now we can slowly reintroduce The Smith and even Reiss Nelson can properly heal.

    A steal in today’s market at 21 m + add-ons.

  • Le Gall,

    Relax a little. Reiss Nelson is being turned into this year’s Nketiah. Meaning he’s born again as an Arteta player.

    The only think that will prevent Nelson from getting a modest new contract with us is his own fitness problems — sadly. Who do you want to blame for his injuries? Arteta? Edu?

    I still have confidence he’ll be our spare winger next year, unless we drop a shedload of cash on Diaby, in which case we may go even younger with Cozier-Duberry being even cheaper option as depth.

    I have 2 positive, constructive suggestions for you.

    First, give Vieira a chance, there’s magic in his left foot.

    Secondly, let go of thinking about Joe Willock. He’s an average player.
    He never was, and still isn’t good enough for an Arsenal midfield.
    Yes he’s currently better than a disappointing Lokonga, but with a lower talent ceiling, as low as his football IQ.

    When we next add to our midfield, Sambi will be out and we’ll be looking for a much higher level than both of them.

  • GN5, I have never met Jacinda, but am glad for her sake and our countries sake that she has resigned. She is an articulate, intelligent and compassionate person but has proven something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing with her ideology and agenda.
    Prime ministerial duties are tough, as is the political arena generally. She wisely acknowledges that she has nothing left in her tank. I wish her every blessing as she focuses on her family life.

    I hear LG’s big heart for or academy boys. He champions them.
    I hope and trust Trossard will do well for us, he is EPL proven, tho’ I kinda mourn for, what I think was Zaha’s last chance to be an Arsenal player.

  • Yes Stu, Legal has a big heart for them and that’s great.

    I think we need to give Arteta time on this aspect too. Some will make it and some, maybe many, will make a career outside of Arsenal. Key is to see what the team looks like in three years time. To me it looks like Arteta has a defence for years to come, a midfield that will see changes and an attack that could see very little change. Which manager in the PL has ever been able to be TotL with three attackers in their early twenties?! Marquinos, Vieira, Nelson etc are being developed with the hope that they will play regular first team football in the next few seasons. Our Academy youngsters have very strong competition. Sport is competition, but I think Arteta is giving everyone a fair chance, at least in training. He has got to deliver in the meantime as we fans expect this. So let us be respectful of Arteta and Edu is all i am saying. 🙂

  • Stu, what we non Kiwis don’t get is what Jacinda actually did wrong, as per your description of her as a wolf in sheepskin. She had to manage a lot of crises and make some difficult decisions. As far as I can see she managed them at her epistemic best at the time, while remaining humble.

    So what did she do wrong according to you?

  • Liverpool v Saudia Chelsea… H (3-1)
    Bournemouth v Nottm Forest.. D
    C.Palace v Newcastle…….. D
    Man City v Wolves……. H (4-0)
    Arsenal v Man United…. H
    Waalwijk v G.A.Eagles…,.A (0-2)

  • I expressed my concern about what we have heard about Leandro’s character. However, I have just read that in 2017, when he was at Genk, he was coached by non-other than Albert Stuivenberg. So, he must have a clear understanding of Leandro’s character and capabilities so, I’m much happier now. I’m also happier that we haven’t splashed an insane amount of money on Mudryl, no matter how good he may turn out to be. This signing makes much more sense as we are getting someone who has already proven themselves in the PL.

  • I see that ‘the great and the good’ have assembled at Davis again, those that know best for us in their brave new world order,- sounds eerily like a thousand year something or other…

  • There’s a really good piece in The Athletic OX10, I’ll try to cut n paste it…

  • Leandro Trossard move: Why Arsenal switched from youth policy and how he’d fit team
    In some respects, Arsenal would be a surprising destination for Leandro Trossard. Mikel Arteta’s project has largely been built around youth and potential.

    Trossard does not fit the profile: the Belgium international turned 28 in December. He is already a known quantity in the Premier League.

    For Arsenal, on this occasion, that is part of the attraction.

    In any recruitment strategy, there are two factors that guide business: an overarching philosophy, and the reality of short-term requirements. A signing such as Trossard would exist outside of the club’s ordinary recruitment parameters — but this is no ordinary season. Arsenal are fighting for a title, and their key decision-makers are united in the belief that reinforcements are needed.

    Arsenal would have liked to land a marquee signing such as Mykhailo Mudryk — someone who provided immediate impact as well as fitting the long-term plan. Having seen the 22-year-old wind up at Chelsea, they have reacted quickly — and pragmatically — to identify Trossard as plan B.

    Some might argue it doesn’t fit the strategy — Arsenal will see it as demonstrating flexibility. It’s important to have principles, but not at the expense of results. Not at the expense of a title.

    The advantages of Trossard are clear. He’s a player Arteta and his staff know well — assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg was his manager at Genk in 2017, and has assuaged some of the concerns about this attitude after recent comments by Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi.

    Arsenal have shown previously they value experience in the Premier League. Until recently, Trossard had been one of Brighton’s key players, scoring seven goals and recording two assists in 16 league appearances this season. As someone who has played in a comparable tactical system, he should require little adaptation. He is accustomed to a front-footed, pressing style.

    He’s versatile, too. Although he has played predominantly from the left, he is very two-footed, potentially allowing him to operate from either flank. Brighton have also used him through the middle, either as a quasi-striker or in a more withdrawn role. With Gabriel Jesus sidelined with an injury suffered on World Cup duty with Brazil, that ability to play through the middle might afford Eddie Nketiah an occasional rest.

    It would not be as exciting a signing as the €100million (£87.4m; $108.2m) Mudryk — a younger player who arrives with plenty of untapped potential. After missing out on the 22-year-old Ukrainian, however, a deal for Trossard looks sensible.

    Having initially been offered the chance to sign the 24-cap Belgium international earlier in the window, Arsenal have moved decisively to agree a fee with Brighton worth £21million with a further £6million on top in potential add-ons.

    Brighton have an option for an additional year for Trossard’s contract that would see it extended until the summer of 2024. Arsenal have come close to meeting the asking price — their negotiating position was weakened by the fact they had effectively shown their hand with the bid for Mudryk. In this case, they have chosen to move quickly rather than haggle.
    Leandro Trossard move: Why Arsenal switched from youth policy and how he’d fit team
    In some respects, Arsenal would be a surprising destination for Leandro Trossard. Mikel Arteta’s project has largely been built around youth and potential.

    Trossard does not fit the profile: the Belgium international turned 28 in December. He is already a known quantity in the Premier League.

    For Arsenal, on this occasion, that is part of the attraction.

    In any recruitment strategy, there are two factors that guide business: an overarching philosophy, and the reality of short-term requirements. A signing such as Trossard would exist outside of the club’s ordinary recruitment parameters — but this is no ordinary season. Arsenal are fighting for a title, and their key decision-makers are united in the belief that reinforcements are needed.

    Arsenal would have liked to land a marquee signing such as Mykhailo Mudryk — someone who provided immediate impact as well as fitting the long-term plan. Having seen the 22-year-old wind up at Chelsea, they have reacted quickly — and pragmatically — to identify Trossard as plan B.

    Some might argue it doesn’t fit the strategy — Arsenal will see it as demonstrating flexibility. It’s important to have principles, but not at the expense of results. Not at the expense of a title.

    The advantages of Trossard are clear. He’s a player Arteta and his staff know well — assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg was his manager at Genk in 2017, and has assuaged some of the concerns about this attitude after recent comments by Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi.

    Arsenal have shown previously they value experience in the Premier League. Until recently, Trossard had been one of Brighton’s key players, scoring seven goals and recording two assists in 16 league appearances this season. As someone who has played in a comparable tactical system, he should require little adaptation. He is accustomed to a front-footed, pressing style.

    He’s versatile, too. Although he has played predominantly from the left, he is very two-footed, potentially allowing him to operate from either flank. Brighton have also used him through the middle, either as a quasi-striker or in a more withdrawn role. With Gabriel Jesus sidelined with an injury suffered on World Cup duty with Brazil, that ability to play through the middle might afford Eddie Nketiah an occasional rest.

    It would not be as exciting a signing as the €100million (£87.4m; $108.2m) Mudryk — a younger player who arrives with plenty of untapped potential. After missing out on the 22-year-old Ukrainian, however, a deal for Trossard looks sensible.

    Having initially been offered the chance to sign the 24-cap Belgium international earlier in the window, Arsenal have moved decisively to agree a fee with Brighton worth £21million with a further £6million on top in potential add-ons.

    Brighton have an option for an additional year for Trossard’s contract that would see it extended until the summer of 2024. Arsenal have come close to meeting the asking price — their negotiating position was weakened by the fact they had effectively shown their hand with the bid for Mudryk. In this case, they have chosen to move quickly rather than haggle.

    Leandro Trossard move: Why Arsenal switched from youth policy and how he’d fit team
    In some respects, Arsenal would be a surprising destination for Leandro Trossard. Mikel Arteta’s project has largely been built around youth and potential.

    Trossard does not fit the profile: the Belgium international turned 28 in December. He is already a known quantity in the Premier League.

    For Arsenal, on this occasion, that is part of the attraction.

    In any recruitment strategy, there are two factors that guide business: an overarching philosophy, and the reality of short-term requirements. A signing such as Trossard would exist outside of the club’s ordinary recruitment parameters — but this is no ordinary season. Arsenal are fighting for a title, and their key decision-makers are united in the belief that reinforcements are needed.

    Arsenal would have liked to land a marquee signing such as Mykhailo Mudryk — someone who provided immediate impact as well as fitting the long-term plan. Having seen the 22-year-old wind up at Chelsea, they have reacted quickly — and pragmatically — to identify Trossard as plan B.

    Some might argue it doesn’t fit the strategy — Arsenal will see it as demonstrating flexibility. It’s important to have principles, but not at the expense of results. Not at the expense of a title.

    The advantages of Trossard are clear. He’s a player Arteta and his staff know well — assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg was his manager at Genk in 2017, and has assuaged some of the concerns about this attitude after recent comments by Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi.

    Arsenal have shown previously they value experience in the Premier League. Until recently, Trossard had been one of Brighton’s key players, scoring seven goals and recording two assists in 16 league appearances this season. As someone who has played in a comparable tactical system, he should require little adaptation. He is accustomed to a front-footed, pressing style.

    He’s versatile, too. Although he has played predominantly from the left, he is very two-footed, potentially allowing him to operate from either flank. Brighton have also used him through the middle, either as a quasi-striker or in a more withdrawn role. With Gabriel Jesus sidelined with an injury suffered on World Cup duty with Brazil, that ability to play through the middle might afford Eddie Nketiah an occasional rest.

    It would not be as exciting a signing as the €100million (£87.4m; $108.2m) Mudryk — a younger player who arrives with plenty of untapped potential. After missing out on the 22-year-old Ukrainian, however, a deal for Trossard looks sensible.

    Having initially been offered the chance to sign the 24-cap Belgium international earlier in the window, Arsenal have moved decisively to agree a fee with Brighton worth £21million with a further £6million on top in potential add-ons.

    Brighton have an option for an additional year for Trossard’s contract that would see it extended until the summer of 2024. Arsenal have come close to meeting the asking price — their negotiating position was weakened by the fact they had effectively shown their hand with the bid for Mudryk. In this case, they have chosen to move quickly rather than haggle.

  • Le Gall, you just became my personal hero!

    Big respect to the bravery that you dare to challenge the mainstream, and willing to share your doubts even in a time where it is particularly ‘good to be a Gooner’, therefore critiques are less appreciated.
    Nevertheless I agree with you in almost everything, but I’ll start where I don’t, as it is shorter.

    I think Joe Willock and Alex Iwobi had their fair share of opportunities before Arsenal decided on the departure. Indeed, they play much better than the last time they wore a red-and-white jersey, but they are probably late bloomers. However they weren’t the Arsenal quality the club was looking for, which isn’t disproved by the fact that they found a lot of playing opportunities in lesser PL teams.

    The other statement I don’t fully back up is Trossard being an average, unexciting player. Yes, he has been average and unexciting; but in 2022 he had a major breakthrough. He was really good this calendar year (and the 18/19 season for Genk). Yet it limits my enthusiasm that while we hope that Nelson, Vieira, Lokonga, Marquinhos and Nketiah (even Saka and Martinelli) will keep improving, we can only hope about Trossard that he doesn’t deteriorate much.

    It was not your major point but I think 100M could be justified for a player who is relatively young, and he is among the best 3 players in his position. For me Declan Rice fits the bill; plus he is English, so shouldn’t be an issue with the homegrown quota or the xenophobic fans. He is another guy with serious leadership skills (by the way Trossard was also captain of the team in his last season in Genk), and despite Arsenal not known to sign the world’s best player for a particular position – that’s more of a Real Madrid, PSG, Man City thing to do – I can imagine and support going all out for Rice as we are not the team we used to be 2-3 years back.

    I agree with practically everything else you said, but I will reflect on a separate comment, as it is already unbearably long.

  • As I said, I share La Gall’s concerns about the detrimental effect of the Trossard signing on youth development. It is not something that can be denied, but it can be disregarded. Which is perfectly fine; anybody can say that the academy program and the entire concept of relying on Arsenal-nurtured youth talents are not the goal but rather the mean how we aim to reach our goal which is the PL title and a CL (semi-)final. However if you are even half loyal to the U18/U21 players, or despite our current success you still believe that promoting the best academy talents into the first team is how a smart club perpetuates its advantage over the short-sighted, impatient, fast-money teams, then it is difficult to challenge Le Gall’s perception that ‘Mikel-Edu are doing a great job at destroying a young Gooner-at-heart career’. It is a popular mantra now to “trust the process”, but the process no longer covers the academy track to the first team.

    I won’t deny that Arteta likes young players, I simply observe that he prefers to sign them rather than promote them. And I’m afraid it is not an interpretation of the data, this is as close to facts as it gets. If there is only 20% truth in the rumor with Fresneda and Jaidon Anthony, even considering them is kicking the academy in the teeth.

    There are many voices reasoning that Arteta would promote academy players to the first team if and when they are good enough. Implying that the undisputed fact that Wenger did that (Wilshere, Martinez,AMN, Willock, Bellerin Nketiah) and so did Emery/Ljungberg (Saka, ESR) must be attributed that the academy was full of talents ‘back in the golden era’, but apparently there are no quality players there, as ‘Arteta would have surely given them the chance would they deserve it’. However this is a cognitive bias as well as a logical fallacy called Petitio principii (a.k.a. circular or cyclic argument). Don’t hesitate to look them up if interested.

    There are countless of cases where the club said no to a player who went elsewhere to fast track his career, often with fast results. You already know Yunus Musah from the WC, but there was Joao Virginia who had his Everton debut 2 seasons ago, there was Sam Greenwood (Arsenal U18 top scorer at 17y) who joined Leeds, had his first team debut 2 years ago, and now he already has 840 competitive minutes under his belt this half of the season, and there is obviously Omari Hutchinson, who was seen as the most talented academy player by many, but with Willian and Pepe signed to his preferred position and no chance to first team call-up joined London rival Chelsea and already had his FA Cup and PL debut. And the line is long, full of players who have become senior internationals without playing a single competitive minute in Arsenal (Bielik, Ballard, Hein, Hutchinson, Flores). Although Mavropanos and Guendouzi were never parts of the academy, only signed as teenagers, their fates easily remind us to the Hale End guys who were also not signed thus not selected by Arteta.

    Anyway I wouldn’t go as far as Le Gall by saying it is being ‘a betrayal of what this club’s supposed to stand for’, but at the very least this is a paradigm shift that betrayed the set of values laid down by Wenger and Emery. Again I reiterate that there is no shame in enjoying the table position and not giving a hoot about the values of Wenger, which evidently did bring more pride than results. But please don’t start promoting that Arteta is the champion of the academy. He clearly and obviously isn’t, BUT THAT DOESN’T CONTRADICT Mikel being an excellent manager and coach. In fact being a great coach is not a binary category (but that is an even more complicated matter that might call for a separate post), just he – as every other managers – has his strong suits and weaknesses. (The 2022/23) Arteta is among the very best when it comes to vision, team selection, consistency, togetherness, team spirit, locker room morale, individual motivating and focused pressing, but he is really bad at selling/disposing players, rotation, approaching/handling guys signed by his predecessors, competing lads for the starting positions and fast tracking academy starlets into the first team. You can love and worship Arteta while accepting that.

    Finally a word about Saliba. Even Ian Wright said what a genius masterstroke it was to send young William to France to make him the almost ready defender he is now. And since old Wrighty new how to kick the ball straight, bend or even lob it, it is easy to assume that he is (W)right when talking about other aspects of football, too. Yet, what he said is bullshit. He has his excuses, as he is practically unemployed so his role is limited to be the popular pundit loyal to the club, but still largely disappointing. After his post-transfer loan Saliba was deprived of half a year of competitive football for no good reason. He should have either played for Arsenal or sent on a loan (as he got 2000 minutes in the second half of the same season and 4600 minutes the next year when he was nominated the young player of Ligue 1), but a handful of U21 appearances in inexcusable, not a masterstroke. And William does hold a grudge – probably rightfully so – therefore his reluctance to sign a contract extension should be explained by his relation to Mikel, and not some greedy, faceless agents.

    We can, and in fact we should be happy with the totality about what is happening around Arsenal these months. However it doesn’t mean that everything is shiny. There are cracks here and there, but that is part of reality, it happens to every club. Yet, the signing of Trossard (as well as Kiwior) should be viewed from a step back with impartial optimism. As Arteta is doing a great job, but not infallible.

  • Good stuff, PB. Much to agree and disagree with, but you explain yourself well. I have said my thing already and Kev’s article makes it even more crystal clear.

    Arsenal have an academy. A few will make it AT Arsenal, but many will go on and have a successful career outside the club. I don’t think anybody really loses in this. Arteta is a much better judge than any of us, and all examples you give are of players who have hardly shown that they can play at the top level of Arsenal. They may still do that, though. Arteta has done a great job in further developing Saka, Martinelli and Eddie. Hopefully a few more will follow.

    For what it is worth, I don’t think Arsene promoted many youngsters during the first years at establishing himself at Arsenal. He bought and bought and bought again. Cole was an exception, but that’s about it if memory serves me well. Arsene also let go a few gems, so also he got it wrong. Arteta has not got it wrong as yet inho. The fellow at Chelsea is peripheral at best. As I said earlier, give Mikel time… Much more time. The youngsters get a first class education and a fair chance. It’s tough but they are likely to all get a football career out of it.

  • Wow! Arteta and Edu have been busy. We’ve already sealed the deal for 3players this week, (for the price of 1). Good job!

    Trossard is PL-ready and that can have great advantages, as we will come to see, and won’t make a fuss about being a back-up player for us, especially in the league.
    Jakub Kiwior is a solid defender who can play left and right sided defence, from what I have seen of him at Spezia.
    Ivan Fresneda looks to be a very good, young right back too; had been linked to Real Madrid for some weeks now so, must be a good buy to support White and Tomiyasu. It may give us the impetus to let some players (who have been part of the furniture) move on to get well deserved playing time: Cedric, Holding, Elneny can now depart without upheavals, now or by the summer (best they share in the reward of being premiership medalists, as I expect us to fight for the title).

    Doing business midway in the season can give a huge boost to our aspirations as it heightens focus by the first team players, as they fight to retain their shirts; it also gives fans a hope that injuries aren’t going to be a factor to derail us this term.

  • OX10 there was more mate, but I’m having issues with my iPad mini, the box you type into has shrunk to half it’s size, probably some form of Apple built-in obsolescence, thus its a chore and leads to all kinds of mistakes…

  • The signings of Felix and Mudryk are certain to effect the progress and opportunities of some of those further down the pecking order – the grass isn’t always greener even if the greenbacks are…

  • TA, we are in agreement to give time to Arteta and the new guys.
    Yet, if I take it as objectively as I possibly can

    – Mudyk seemed like a target scouting optimized to the current project (but the greediness of the club owner and Chelsea’s lack of own strategy left us empty-handed)

    – Trossard looks like a “retaliation” (or see the Yiddish word ‘davka’) signing, and while completing the deal from the first contact to signing the papers in 24 hours is quite impressive, but has the pressure written all over it. I could be wrong, and even if I’m right that doesn’t mean Leandro not being a top player, and best of luck to our new #19, but it had nothing to do with the current project or careful scouting, that’s hard to dispute.

    – I’ll be curious if any of the Bergkampesque regulars have ever heard of Jakub Kiwior before today. Yet I’m excited about him, as we kind of needed a backup left-footed center back, and I appreciate the relatively surprise/noname signings, especially if they come cheap. Such was Martinelli and Guendouzi (albeit a few years younger when signed), so this could easily work out very well for us. The only player who is affected negatively by Kiwior is the Birmingham loanee Auston Trusty, but since we bought him this year I have not developed a loyalty to him. However I’m interested if anybody having the balls to bet with me if Jakub will play 200 minutes this season in all competition? I’d be surprised, thus willing to bet.

    – As excited I am about Kiwior I’m more furious about the rumor on Ivan Fresneda. We didn’t need a RB to begin with, and even if we sell Cedric we would still don’t need a third choice right back. At all. But most of all it is nothing short than betraying Arteta’s most used youth player Reuell Walters and especially Brooke Norton-Cuffy, who is on loan in Coventry (a club not inferior to Real Valladolid), is 1x European Under-19 champion, born in 2004 just like Ivan, and has already played 5.543 minutes (half of them among adults), while Fresnada has only 1.568 minutes under his belt (60% of them among adults). Brooke is homegrown, has only played for Arsenal (apart from loan spells), has the club DNA and is more of a Zinchenko type ow RWB/RM than Walters style of RCB/RB. If we sign Ivan I will think a lot less of Arteta and Edu, and even less if Ivan wouldn’t play 2 games for the first team.

  • Total, I am reluctant to wade into the murky world of politics, especially on this site dedicated as it is to the beautiful game and our club, which more than most embodies the virtue of beauty.
    And, especially as I continue in my role as a pastor, called to always search for the best in people.
    There is, indeed a great deal of good in Jacinda. And my description of her as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” should have carried the proviso that this is something she is unaware of. She believes her philosophy and agenda is a correct one, as do so many of our leaders. (Something Kev alluded to earlier in this thread re: the gathering at Davos). She is sincere but often is sincerely wrong.
    You ask for concrete examples. Many examples are subject to peoples views on morality and the legislation of morality. It is said that one cannot legislate morality, however it is done so regularly. The question is whose morality is put into law. Jacinda has championed permissiveness and has carried on in the footsteps of her mentor, a previous NZ PM, Helen Clarke in seeking to dismantle traditional Judeo Christian values and mores which have stood our nation in good stead. Her Party has placed State above family, adhering to what history has proven to be failed communist thinking. Her Party is driven by a Socialist set of principals which is stimulated and affirmed by “the brave new world order” and encouraged by large elements of the worlds media, with whom Jacinda has become a darling.
    Concrete? Her Parties stance on China, the economic policies designed to win votes by making tens of thousands dependant upon benefits, the unwillingness to take on the criminal gangs blighting our communities, the blind intransigence towards the nation of Israel, the high handed disregard of and disdain for well supported and well considered petitions…

    I guess you might be sighing by now. I do pray for her, her family and her Party. And, I admit, I only see things through my lens and world view. If I was to meet her, I would offer a hug, a smile, thank her for trying, and ask her if she has ever watched an Arsenal game…

  • Thanks a lot for the detailed comment, Pb.
    “He clearly and obviously isn’t, BUT THAT DOESN’T CONTRADICT Mikel being an excellent manager and coach” – that I agree with completely, in particular.
    Just one thing about youth development, though. Back in “my” days, when you studied to be a teacher, your curriculum was almost strictly academic, so that you were taught next to nothing about the art (for an art it is) of teaching.
    I can still remember one lecture we had been given by a psychology teacher from Paris, though. She mentioned an experiment which had been run in the States on a group of students, after they had passed an I.Q. test (there’s a “Brave New World” ring to that, I know … there’d be much to say about turning students into guinea pigs, as well as about I.Q. tests, of course, but that’s not my point).
    Anyway, after the results were known the group was split into two “classes”: those who had “failed” the tests were presented to their teachers as having had excellent results, while those who had actually performed well were presented to their own teachers as underachievers. You get my drift … I don’t remember how long the “experiment” lasted, I do believe, and hope, it was one schoolyear only, but in the end the “underachievers” had become the “top guns”, and vice-versa – their teachers’ prejudice against them had completely turned things around.
    There was an article in “L’Équipe” about French youngsters, a few days ago. You might say some kind of jingoism triggered it, because it tried to explain how France could have made it to the WC final without Lucas Hernandez, Kanté, Pogba, Kimpembé, Benzema, Nkunku, Maignan, Chelsea’s Fofana, Ferland Mendy too … I might be forgetting some, but it doesn’t matter – and you’d probably be right. Yet the fact is Koundé, Upamecano, Théo Hernandez, Konaté, Tchouameni, Thuram, Kolo-Muani took over (not to mention Disasi, Monaco’s Fofana, our BigBill of course …) and you could hardly tell the difference. To make us better understand this achievement – as arrogant as this word may sound, I do believe it was an achievement – they displayed a list of current French professionals born after January 1st, 2003 who have already made their way to the first team of one of the top-level leagues, a list it was very hard not to be impressed by, for two reasons: the number of players in it first, but also the number of minutes they have already played at top-level.
    I talked about this to an old buddy of mine who has kept in touch with Youth football in Normandy. Rouen happens to be halfway between Le Havre and Évreux, two of the very best academies in France – if you have time to waste just check out the number of French internationals who were nurtured there. So this guy he just goes and see their (Évreux F.C., Le Havre A.C.) youth teams every time he has an opportunity to do so, and he told me the lads ooze so much confidence you can almost touch it from behind the sidelines. These lads, they KNOW – even those for whom it will never happen, eventually, for not all of them will make it, of course – they will play top-level football; all they actually worry about is whether or not they will, at some point, play for Real, Barcelona, Juve, Bayern, … Arsenal, too, maybe. Most French young footballers are looked upon as “top-guns”, and as a result I’m not even sure sky’s their limit (not everything’s right about French football, I don’t need any convincing about that, thank you very much).
    Georges Brassens used to sing “Saturn bears a pretty name/But a very disquieting God he is”. English football, and the current version of Arsenal Football Club in particular, has become an Ogre who, like Saturn, feeds on his own children. As talented as they may be, the lads are looked upon – and now more than ever – as underachievers, and most of them end up performing accordingly. If they do well after getting the call up, they get loaned out (Willock, Nelson, Patino, Balogun), and however brilliant they may be, whether it be in Newcastle, Hoffenheim, Blackpool, Reims, when they come home some cuckoo has laid an I-don’t-know-how-many-million-pound egg into a nest that should have been theirs, and theirs only. Then you just have to wait for one or two disappointing games, or an injury, to discard them – after their Arsenal dream has been taken from them, both the dream and the dreamer are shattered anyway. At the end of the day, most of their post-Arsenal so-called failures are nothing but the self-fulfilling prophecies of those who let them down.
    This is no consolation, but Arsenal are not alone in that case, far from it. What are Abraham and Hudson-Odoi doing in Italy-Germany, I’d like to know. No one seems to give a farting f..k about what’s going on with Sancho, or be worried by the downward slope such wonderful footballers as Mount or Foden already seem to be sliding down on; as for Emil I sure hope I worry too much about him. And even those who succeed … how can one of the best two young English footballers be playing in Germany? How can all the English top-clubs have missed out on Bellingham, if not because they are prejudiced against their own youngsters?
    This doesn’t make any sense, other than: why bother about sawing the branch we’re sitting on (the British kids who’ve been dreaming about Premier League badges – whichever they may be – from their very first kick in a football, and were good enough to be allowed to do so)? All we have to do after falling down and picking ourselves up, is buy and plant a whole forest of exotic trees. Most of them will fade away on English soil, but one might end up being glorious enough to masquerade the whole tragical farce into a masterstroke. As for those who were native to the ecological niche and could have turned it into a garden of Eden, they be will be deemed to have been too weak, too fragile, in a travesty of Darwinism, and not even a memory of them will remain.
    So … yes, when it comes down to figuring out the non-future in the red-and white, on Arteta’s and Edu’s watch, not only of the above-mentioned lads, but also of such wonderkids as Ibrahim, Lewis-Skelly, Norton-Cuffy, or Cozier-Duberry, it does break my heart …

  • Thank you, Stu. I can tell she is not your cup of tea. I guess you are right to link her to her party principles and policies and I understand that these are not for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on her.

  • “and however brilliant they may be, whether it be in Newcastle, Hoffenheim, Blackpool, Reims, when they come home some cuckoo has laid an I-don’t-know-how-many-million-pound egg into a nest that should have been theirs, and theirs only”

    It’s hard to argue with that, Le Gall, and I am not going to.
    There seems to be a set of deathtraps, and while some may avoid one, it it looks impossible to sidestep all.

    First, there is too much of a gap between the PL2 (the U21 league) and the real PL. Especially as mostly boys of 17-19 play in the PL2, as the 20-21 years are mostly considered lost causes. (No matter how good Matt Smith plays at 21, he will not have an Arsenal future as he was supposed to play at that level at 18.)
    Wenger and Emery accepted the risk of these youngsters playing below the level of the rest of the squad, and promoted academy players, slowly starting in lesser games to reach ‘operating temperature’. And boy, did they suck. Bellerin was a disaster against Dortmund in the CL (well, I wouldn’t call it a lesser competition, poor guy was dropped into the pool at the deep end), and Saka was very poor in the EL against Vorskla and Qarabag. But that was balanced by the rest of the team, so only the performance dipped, not the results.

    Now I can accept that Mikel has some kind of obligation to go far in every competition, so Elneny, Marquinhos and Turner can play, but Azeez, Hutchinson, Flores, BNC, KTH, ACD and Sousa cannot, but that’s a big step back from the Wenger days.
    However that’s not the only or even the biggest problem. Maybe there will be generational talents – like the 15y Lewis-Skelly and Nwaneri, who already played in the U21 boys (and didn’t seem out of depth at all) and trained with the first team several times. Yet, their development has a cap, as the PL2 quality is limited. If they want to close the gap with the first team they have to go on loan. And Arsenal is not really good at that, and even with the talented and intelligent Mertesacker this problem is still out there. Yet, even with a perfect loan spell there is simply no way back to the first team. Flores is doomed, BNC’s chances will be usurped by Fresneda, and even Balogun, who scored more league goals than Messi this season will have no chance to play for Arsenal again.

    So it’s not only Le Gall’s heart breaking, but what hurts more that seemingly nobody cares. Well, many supporters don’t know the academy players, but even when they do, they demand more and more signings to EVERY position, regardless if we have a generational talent in the academy or not.
    It’s a catch 22: if you are not at the first team level you will never get the chance to play for Arsenal, and if you don’t play for Arsenal, it will never be accepted that you reach the first team level, even if the loan performance shows otherwise.

    Be honest, would you like to see Pepe in the pre-season next summer? Or were you happy for his loan to Nice, because maybe some sucker club would sign him from us? Unfortunately Pepe’s name could be replaced with any player here…

  • All good stuff. The facts are that some went on loan and where given a chance this season. Nelson got injured (can he deal with the pressure is the big question). Eddie got his chance. Saliba got his chance. ‘Cuckoo nest eggs’ such as Tomiyasu and Tierney, Auba and Laca lost or are losing out momentarily. The beauty and pain of competition.

    I get the point of giving the youngsters confidence and belief, and the need for opportunities at Arsenal, but please don’t over dramatise things. We are not a regional club but a top club that wants to play good football and win silverware. Youngsters do get a fair chance, as fair as possible in a highly competitive environment. The club look after the youngsters really well. You ought to be proud of this IMHO.

  • Is it just me, but does Todd Boehly have hampsteads like Austin Powers?

    I can kinda imagine him going around saying “Hey Baby”…

  • Yeh, Kev. And our new boy has a great set of gnashers too. Check out his interview on Arsenal.com.

  • Leo’s knashers do actually look natural Stu, Todd’s look like something out of a factory

    It’s cold in England

  • As GN5 cannot include this game anymore, let’s just say it is a one off for fun between those of us who put a predicted score forward. 🙂

  • Former Arsenal captain Alexandre Lacazette scored a hat-trick to help Lyon into the last 16 of the French Cup with victory over fifth-tier Chambery.

    All three of striker Lacazette’s goals were poacher’s efforts, slotting in from close range following cutbacks.

  • 1 – Leandro Trossard leads all Brighton players in the Premier League this season for…

    Goals – 7
    Expected Goals – 4.4
    Touches in Opp Box – 101
    Open Play Chances Created – 23
    Possession Won in Final Third – 20

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