Brighton moved quickly this summer to secure one of their main targets, Genk winger Leandro Trossard. The south coast club are believed to have parted with somewhere in the region of £15 million to secure the 24-year-old, who scored 14 league goals as Genk won the Jupiler Pro League title.
The Belgian winger won a number of admirers due to his outstanding appearances playing on the left-hand side of Genk’s 4-2-3-1 system. This tactical analysis scout report will examine various aspects of Trossard’s game and provide an analysis of what he might offer Brighton in their 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
Classic wing play
Leandro Trossard is a lot more than a simple winger in the traditional model of getting to the byline to put crosses into the box. That said, traditional wing play is still a very strong part of his game as he is more than capable of running at pace, beating his man and getting crosses into the box.
In the images below we see an example of Trossard making an intelligent run on the way to providing an assist for teammate Bryan Heynen in Genk’s game away at Standard Liège. He would go on to manage a total of seven league assists over the course of the 2018/19 season.
Threat from central areas
As mentioned, Trossard has a lot more to his game than effective wing play and is just as capable of influencing the game by drifting into central areas. From these positions, he has proven to be a major threat if he is allowed too much time and space on the ball.
In the picture below we see how the Anderlecht players stand off him allowing him the time to play a lofted ball over the top of the defence, which fell perfectly to be met by the head of Mbwana Samatta.
As we shall see in the next image, Trossard is also adept at using his vision to play precision through balls in transition phases. Here he threads a perfectly-timed pass into the feet of Samatta.
Although primarily seen as a player who can best influence the game in the final third, Trossard is not afraid of coming deep to get the ball. Such is his vision that he can still create goal scoring opportunities from as far back as the half-way line.
In the next two images we see examples of how Trossard’s vision is matched by his technical expertise as he manages to play long-range balls into the path of attackers looking to run in behind.
These skills could be particularly important to Brighton, who often find themselves up against teams that play a high line in the Premier League.
One aspect of Trossard’s game that would have appealed to Brighton is the winger’s capacity to contribute goals from midfield. This is something that Brighton struggled with last season as they could only muster a total of 35 goals in the Premier League, the lowest total outside the bottom three.
And what will be even more concerning for new manager Graham Potter is that Brighton’s goals last season mainly came from striker Glenn Murray (13) as the midfield struggled to get on the scoresheet: Pascal Groß was the highest scoring midfielder with just three goals to his name.
One area of the pitch from which Trossard is especially dangerous is from wide angles. As a winger who naturally looks to get to the byline, the Belgian often manages to fashion chances for himself from that very position. We will now look at two examples of how he has managed to score from this type of scenario.
In these next images, we see how Trossard manages to trick his marker in order to find space to get a shot away and score.
This next goal starts with another trademark run from Trossard as he spots a gap in the opposition defence in which to target his late run into the box. In the first of the images below, the defender nearest to Trossard has his back to him as he turns his attention to the ball carrier. Trossard seizes this opportunity by picking this as the moment to accelerate into the open space in the opposition defence.
After receiving the ball in the free channel, Trossard is again able to find the net with a precise shot into the bottom corner, this time on his more natural left foot.
As a dangerous attacking player, Trossard naturally draws many fouls from the opposition. One particular reason for this is that Trossard likes to hold on to the ball and pivot for a couple of seconds in an attempt to break free of his marker and scan the pitch for options.
Often when he does this it attracts more than one opposition player to him and he is able to win a free kick for his team as shown below.
Needless to say, set pieces are going to continue to be very important for Brighton in their bid for Premier League safety next campaign. The fact that the centre-back partnership of Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk managed seven league goals between them speaks volumes for how effective this team is from set plays, regardless of what style of tactics Graham Potter chooses to employ next season.
It is worth noting however that Trossard may find referees in England may give the defenders more benefit of the doubt and what constitutes a foul in one country may not necessarily be punished the same way in another. The young Belgian will have to learn quickly in order to gauge how much time and space on the ball he will get in the Premier League, particularly in a side which is expected to struggle and not necessarily see much of the ball.
With pace, vision, dribbling and superb technical ability, Trossard has all the raw ingredients to be a success in the Premier League. That said, a move from the Belgian league to the Premier League is a big step and fans may need to be patient with the 5 ft 8 winger as he adapts to his new surroundings.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s disappointing 2018/19 campaign only goes to show that it is not always easy to quickly settle into a new league, particularly in a team that may not see much of the ball. Trossard will have to take his chances when they come.
In any case, the young Belgian who has recently been called up to the Belgian national squad has the potential to be a key player in Graham Potter’s side as they look to at least maintain their Premier League status in the coming season.
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