Home Sports Remarkable similarities show Leandro Trossard is Arsenal’s new Freddie Ljungberg

Remarkable similarities show Leandro Trossard is Arsenal’s new Freddie Ljungberg

0 comment
Notable similarities show Leandro Trossard is Arsenal's new Freddie Ljungberg

He doesn’t have the red streak in his hair or the cheekbones of a Calvin Klein model, but in many other ways Leandro Trossard is proving to be Arsenal’s Freddie Ljungberg reborn.

This year’s title fight for Mikel Arteta’s team has been based on collective strength, defensive solidity and, increasingly significantly, Trossard’s goals. He is delivering with surprising frequency at this decisive moment of the campaign, just as Ljungberg did for Arsenal in their 2002 title run.

In his last seven Premier League games since the beginning of April, Trossard has scored five goals, including the crucial winner. against Manchester United on Sunday. In his last six league games, from April to May 2002, Ljungberg scored six goals.

These are notable echoes of the club’s history, not least because the two players are very similar in their position and position.

Neither Trossard nor Ljungberg are considered the main attackers of their respective teams. Trossard will never be as feared by opposition defenders as Bukayo Saka, just as Ljungberg was never as fearsome as Thierry Henry. But every team chasing the title needs a player like this, a striker who can make crucial interventions when the other stars don’t shine.

There are even similarities between the nature of the goals scored by the two forwards. Many of Ljungberg’s goals in that incredible spring of 2002 came on the end of runs from the left flank, as did Trossard’s run from the left to convert Kai Havertz’s cross at Old Trafford.

Both players also have the ability to be in the right place at the right time. Two of Ljungberg’s goals in his good run of 2002 were scored from inside the six-yard box, from close range. Trossard scored his goal from just a few yards out against United and was also in the perfect position to finish against Bournemouth last week.

They even share a taste for the spectacular. Trossard’s goal against Wolves last month, which set Arsenal on the path to victory, was a shot that flew into the top corner from the edge of the area. Ljungberg broke the deadlock against Ipswich in April 2002 with an equally clever strike, around the bend and through the opposition bodies.

With 17 goals in all competitions this season and 12 in the Premier League, this has been Trossard’s most prolific season in English football. How many goals did Ljungberg score in 2001/02? You guessed it. Seventeen in all competitions and 12 in the Premier League.

Notable similarities show Leandro Trossard is Arsenal's new Freddie Ljungberg

Freddie Ljungberg scored crucial goals for Arsenal in their fight for the title – EPA/Nicolas Asfouri

Consider this too: in 2002, Arsenal’s last two games were against United at Old Trafford, where they won 1-0, and against Everton at home. Next weekend, Arteta’s Arsenal will play their final game of the season against… Everton at home. Is all this just a coincidence or a significant quirk of fate? Perhaps if Arsenal’s players believe in the latter, it could really help them over the finish line.

For Trossard, individually, this has been a season in which he has proven to be much more than a useful player on the team. Instead, he has become an established, top-flight striker, relegating Gabriel Martinelli to a substitute role in recent weeks.

So far this campaign, Trossard has scored at a rate of one goal every 128 minutes, by far the best output of any player in Arteta’s team. The way he is going, the Belgian could soon write himself into the club’s history books, perhaps taking a place alongside a famous flame-haired Swede from Arsenal’s past.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.

You may also like