Former Hibernian striker Tam McManus has opined that Arsenal might have overpaid while completing a quick transfer for Brighton’s Leonardo Trossard. The Belgian winger was announced by the Gunners as their first January recruit on Friday, as they anticipated a lightening fast move for him after missing out on the highly rated and fiercely pursued Mykhaylo Mudryk to Chelsea.
Arsenal have paid an initial fee of £21m for Leonardo Trossard, and have agreed to pay another £6m in add-ons, taking the whole package to £27m. However, McManus feels the Gunners have splashed a bit more than he had expected, given the winger was easily available after he handed a public transfer request following his fallout with Brighton manager De Zerbi.
McManus claims £27m for Leonardo Trossard only justified if he wins Arsenal the Premier League
Arsenal have found themselves in an unprecedented title race this season, after finishing fifth last season. They currently occupy the top position in the table, five points ahead of second-placed and defending champions Manchester City, which could be further widened by eight if they collect a win against Manchester United at the weekend.
While Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta himself plays down the title talks repeatedly, they are well positioned to win it for the first time since 2003/04 season. And pro-turned pundit McManus feels Leonardo Trossard should be that push which leads Arsenal to title glory, or else paying a £27m for an out of favour, 28-year-old player would prove to be too much, as anyhow it has “surprised him already. He said:
“I was thinking more like £12 million [for Trossard]. That seems like a lot of money for a lad who isn’t going to start unless a few players get injured. He’s a good player but there was 18 months left on his contract. This is what Brighton do. They get top dollar for every player they sell so fair play to them with that.
“I’m surprised Arsenal didn’t walk away when that fee came up. They must really want him because that is a lot of money for a 28-year-old who is going to be starting most games on the bench. I guess if he scores a few goals to help them win the league then it’s worth it. That is the point Arteta will make. Either way, Arsenal need more of a squad and this is a step in the right direction.”
Leonardo Trossard was in full throttle this season for the Seagulls, hitting 7 goals and providing 3 assists in 16 Premier League outings, before his spat with De Zerbi. The Brighton manager claimed Trossard had a fallout with a teammate in training session and left for Belgium without telling him or concerned authorities. De Zerbi also cited his behavioural conduct which ultimately became the reason he axed the player form his matchday plans.
On the other hand, Trossard and his agent revealed that despite the winger being fully fit and in good form, De Zerbi dropped him against Middlesborough in the FA Cup, which was the point of meltdown. They further accused the Seagulls’ manager of discriminative behaviour against the Belgium international, which altogether forced him to demand an exit.