The versatile Belgian international has helped Mikel Arteta freshen up his attacking approach at the perfect time

When Mikel Arteta moved for Leandro Trossard in January he knew Arsenal would be getting more than a winger. Trossard has spent much of his career drifting in off the left flank but that was never the full story: only a month previously he had lined up against his future employers as a nominal centre-forward and his versatility, at a time when Arteta’s options in that area were limited, was a crucial part of the package.

Nonetheless it still felt bold when Arteta selected Trossard as a drifting false 9 for the trip to Leicester last week. Arsenal had blazed a trail through this season’s Premier League with the help of specialist attacking spearheads, first Gabriel Jesus then the Brazilian’s understudy, Eddie Nketiah. Although both are mobile, intense, clever players who know how to create space for others, neither shares Trossard’s creativity or polyvalence. Playing Trossard where one of that pair had once operated meant recalibrating Arsenal’s attack midway through a title race that will be decided on tweaks, details and fine margins.

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