How quick-thinking Arsenal ended up with surprise better deal than Chelsea in the transfer market

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Arsenal FC journalist Charles Watts has provided some exclusive insight into how the Gunners had to think quickly last January when they moved for Leandro Trossard as a Plan B to Mykhailo Mudryk, who ended up joining Chelsea.

Watts says Arsenal spent a lot of time trying to sign Mudryk while he was at Shakhtar Donetsk, but they often have backup options in mind, and saw Trossard as a low-risk alternative to the Ukraine international.

Funnily enough, Trossard has almost certainly ended up as the better signing now after a great impact since his move to the Emirates Stadium, but he’s not someone the north London giants necessarily had on their radar for a long time.

Still, Watts praised Arsenal for their work with Trossard, and also highlighted the similarity with the Jorginho deal, which also came last January, while Chelsea again perhaps rushed a bit in getting rid of a proven, experienced player in favour of blowing vast amounts of money on relatively unproven young talent who are yet to live up to expectations.

Trossard transfer: How it came about and ended up being better than the Mudryk deal

Looking back at the saga of last January, Watts said: “Arsenal’s move for Leandro Trossard was a classic example of a club having to think fast in the transfer market. They had spent the entirety of January, 2023 (and several weeks prior to that) trying to sign Mykhailo Mudryk and they thought they were going to get him.

Leandro Trossard celebrates a goal for Arsenal

“But then of course Chelsea hijacked the deal late on in the window and that left Arsenal with a decision to make. They could have stuck with what they had, but they were going for the Premier League title and Arteta wanted more firepower.

“Arsenal always have backup options in the transfer market. That’s how Edu and Arteta operate. They have shown they can quickly shift targets before, such as when they went for Zinchenko after missing out on Lisandro Martinez and also when they landed Jorginho almost immediately after failing to sign Moises Caicedo.

“So when Chelsea signed Mudryk, they had to shift attention elsewhere and Leandro Trossard was a player they knew well and one they knew was available due to his situation with Brighton. It was a low risk signing and one Arsenal were happy to do. They knew they were getting a versatile, Premier League ready attacker who would fit in well to Arteta’s demands.

“I wouldn’t say he was someone Arsenal always had at the top of their list, but he was a player who ticked a lot of Arsenal’s boxes and he’s proven to be an excellent addition.

“I don’t know if Arsenal are working on a new contract for him. It’s not something I’ve heard of just yet, but I know everyone at the club is very happy with him and what he has produced so far. He’s not even been at the club for 18 months yet, so there is no rush when it comes to Trossard. I can’t imagine he will be going anywhere any time soon.”

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