Arsenal have Chelsea to thank for accidental transfer favour

Arsenal have London rivals Chelsea to thank after they inadvertently helped the Gunners make one of the signings of the January transfer window. Leandro Trossard was not the first-choice target for Mikel Arteta but he has proven to be a superb buy so far.

Arsenal wanted to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk in January. The Ukraine star had been linked since the summer window and was keen on a move to the Emirates.

Shakhtar Donetsk were not prepared to make it easy for Arsenal. The north Londoners saw at least two offers rejected for the winger.

It appeared an agreement was edging closer but Chelsea stormed in to blow the Gunners out of the water. The Blues have committed to pay up to £88million for Mudryk, who had played fewer than 50 club games for Shakhtar.

Arsenal had to look elsewhere and Trossard was the chosen target. A deal was wrapped up pretty swiftly with Brighton for less than a third of what Mudryk cost.

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At 28, Trossard is clearly a shorter-term signing than Mudryk. But what he has brought is an immediate impact.

The Belgian had already scored seven Premier League goals this season for Brighton before moving to Arsenal. He has only netted once since joining but his impact has undoubtedly been crucial.

Sunday’s match at Fulham was his best performance so far. He registered three assists in the first half at Craven Cottage, the first player ever to do that away from home in the Premier League era.

It so easily could have been four if Granit Xhaka did not decide to take an extra touch when clear through on goal. Trossard came close to scoring himself and everything he seemed to do was paying off.

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Trossard’s versatility has been a massive plus. Arteta has been without Gabriel Jesus since the World Cup, while Eddie Nketiah is also missing through injury, so to be able to call upon a player who can play across the frontline is priceless.

Mudryk may have a higher ceiling than Trossard in the future. However, at the moment, the Arsenal star is the more polished of the two.

Mudryk registered his first assist for Chelsea in their win at Leicester on Saturday. He is yet to score for the Blues but had seen his game time restricted as he settles into the Premier League.

Chelsea would not have deliberately wanted to help Arsenal in their title quest. But by signing Mudryk, it appears they have done just yet.

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