Arsenal beat Sevilla 2-0 in a Group B match of the UEFA Champions League last Wednesday, Nov. 8. The Gunners thus went close to qualification for the next round, as Leandro Trossard and Bukayo Saka scored for them. Their win came after their 0-1 loss to Newcastle United in the Premier League last weekend.
Their remaining two matches against FC Lens and PSV Eindhoven should be relatively straightforward and the chances of Mikel Arteta’s men going through has become brighter. The likes of Eddie Nketiah and Martin Odegaard did not play against Sevilla and that allowed Trossard to come to the fore once again.
Leandro Trossard has impressed as a false nine
Leandro Trossard has scored five goals in the season so far, which is the same as the number of ones scored by Eddie Nketiah and one more than that by Gabriel Jesus. However, Trossard has started in fewer matches than Nketiah has, which makes the 29-year-old Belgian’s performance more commendable.
Leandro Trossard can also play on the left flank, but his ability to exchange passes in and around the opposition penalty box with his colleagues is a great quality to have. Moreover, Jesus and Nketiah have not been prolific enough upfront and Arsenal have often had to depend upon their pair of wingers and Odegaard to score goals.
Nketiah’s tally has been inflated by the hat-trick he scored against Sheffield United and Jesus has been plagued by injuries. The Brazilian has also had to play on the right flank, a position he does not prefer to play in, at times.
Hence, Trossard is probably Arsenal’s best bet upfront at the moment and Arteta should have given him more opportunities in the upcoming matches. His form should have given some assurance to Arteta by now and the Spaniard might think of changing his team’s starting XI accordingly.
Arsenal’s wingers remain their strength
The Gunners boast probably the best pair of wingers in English football at the moment, with both Saka and Gabriel Martinelli continuing to prove their worth. Both of them also have the ability to score goals with shots from outside the box, which makes them even more dangerous.
With an able playmaker like Odegaard beside them, Arsenal’s wingers keep posing a considerable threat to their opponents. Hence, if the goals keep coming from the centre-forward ( or the false nine, as the case may be), Arsenal will have a better chance of having an outstanding season.
Still, the performance of reserve players like Kai Havertz, Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith-Rowe probably needs improvement and the Gunners will have to work in that regard. Arteta’s exciting new team, however, remains a treat to watch and the neutral watcher will want them to perform well.