January signings, Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior are more valuable to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta than Mykhaylo Mudryk.
The Arsenal fanbase were excited about the potential arrival of Mykhaylo Mudryk. They hoped to see the long drawn-out saga end in their favour and dreamed of watching the electric winger take on rival defenders in the red & white shirt.
In a frenzy few hours, Chelsea managed to creep into the conversation and ultimately secured the player. Watching Mudryk take the field in a blue shirt made Arsenal supporters rather uncomfortable. But missing out on the Ukrainian winger may prove a blessing in disguise.
League-leading Arsenal today:
—Announced the signing of winger Leandro Trossard ✅
—Defender Jakub Kiwior reportedly on the way ✅
They've got their eye on the prize 🏆 pic.twitter.com/sZtv43GPTH
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 20, 2023
Arsenal are a big club, but make no mistake in assuming they have unlimited resources like some of their rivals. They are operating on a limited budget and may have foreseen the problems with spending around €100 million on a single player. Instead, they have shown class in pivoting to a Plan B and deciding against spending big on one solitary position.
Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar swiftly changed their transfer strategy of signing only players under a specific age category. Their outlay on a Premier League-proven, reliable goalscorer Leandro Trossard made their priorities clear to the watching audience.
While the heartbreak from missing out on Mudryk is understandable, signing Trossard is equally valuable for the team. Moreover, Arsenal swiftly moved into the market to sign Jakub Kiwior, a left-sided centre-back. And these two players will bring more good to a title-chasing side.
While some suggested spending wisely, Edu has heard those queries, albeit late. Arsenal’s decision to spread their spending on multiple players rather than one star will prove vindicative, while there could be more before January ends. We look at what Trossard and Kiwior bring to the table for Arsenal for the remainder of the season.
A chart circling on social media showcased Liverpool being Trossard’s favourite team to score against. He has five goals against the Merseysiders, and further down, there are strikes against Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Leandro Trossard has been helping Arsenal's title race all season 🍿 pic.twitter.com/mPoKKWbTrN
— GOAL (@goal) January 20, 2023
At 28, Trossard is at the peak of his powers, and Arsenal may have signed a proper forward to help their cause. The Gunners are chasing the title, and such signings would surely help push them over the line. Arteta has repeatedly reiterated the need to add depth to the squad, particularly in the wide attacking areas.
The Belgian’s ability to play across all three attacking positions is the primary reason Arsenal even chose to sign him. His presence will allow Arteta to ease the pressure on Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka in games where Arsenal do not need to go full strength.
Trossard’s main attribute is the operation in tight spaces and his effectiveness in a side that plays centrally. Arsenal are not a team that predominantly do that but spread out play from all areas. The Belgian’s presence in the box is also a good trait, and his numbers are very similar to the Gunners’ attackers.
Trossard should be seen as an essential signing rather than adding glamour to the whole operation. He will provide quality in the attack while becoming a big option for Arteta if he wishes to tweak his tactics. More importantly, he is the sort of arrival that will not restrict the club from signing a statement winger in the summer if they need to bring one.
Gabriel Magalhaes has started 53 consecutive Premier League games and continues to showcase immaculate fitness levels to keep Arsenal in the title race. Mikel Arteta has always maintained the squad was thin and needed massive reinforcements in key areas.
“Jakub will sign on Monday/Tuesday for Arsenal — he will be in VIP Box for the game vs United”. pic.twitter.com/Qjf5BCJm73
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 22, 2023
The Brazilian has started all but one game in all competitions this season, and his constant presence has let supporters forget the lack of depth in the position. While Arsenal have sufficient cover in other defensive areas, the left centre-back position only has the Brazilian.
Arteta likes to have a ball-playing centre-back and continues to use a right and left-footed partnership. In William Saliba’s place, Arteta can still deploy Ben White. Takehiro Tomiyasu can play on the left side, but the manager has never used him since he arrived. Hence, a cover for Gabriel was imperative, and they found one in Kiwior.
For starters, the reported deal will cost Arsenal €25 million, which is terrific considering how much central defenders are going for in this window. Secondly, he will allow Arteta to use a proper left-footed option than deploying Rob Holding for Gabriel in certain games.
At 22, Kiwior could bide his time and use the period to aid his game development under Arteta. The Polish defender certainly has qualities that suit the Gunners but may need ample polishing. He is a second signing that Arsenal made under the radar, without a sniff for journalists and reporters in the media.
Cost-wise, he is an affordable option, and Arsenal have found the right player who could add quality cover for Gabriel. He will come in use during their FA Cup clashes and the UEFA Europa League, with Arteta aiming to win those competitions.
He is unlikely to displace Gabriel anytime soon and must have known that before signing up. But having a solid option and not relying on Holding makes a massive difference for Arsenal. They will count on Kiwior between now and the end of the season. He and Trossard are the kind of signings that surely improve a team in the short term, something the Gunners need in the title challenge ahead.