Mikel Arteta’s Possible changes as Leandro Trossard might start against Chelsea

Mikel Arteta’s Possible changes as Leandro Trossard might start against Chelsea

Mikel Arteta has the option to shake things up in an effort to revive Arsenal’s faltering Premier League title bid.

The Gunners face Chelsea on Tuesday night, six days after losing 4-1 to Manchester City, in a game they must win to maintain any realistic chance of winning the English title for the first time since the 2003/2004 campaign.

In fact, Arteta’s side will likely need to win all five of their remaining Premier League matches to claim the crown, and even that may not be enough, as they are also dependent on Manchester City losing at least twice between now and the conclusion of the season.

But before Arsenal can begin to dream of silverware again, they must return to winning ways after failing to do so in their last four games, which includes draws against Liverpool and West Ham United despite holding 2-0 leads in both, and a home draw against bottom-place Southampton.

With the exception of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny, who have been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to injury, and William Saliba, who is unlikely to return from a back injury, Arteta should have a fully fit first-team squad for Chelsea’s visit.

Now, unless compelled, the Spaniard has resisted changing his Arsenal team, particularly for a Premier League match this season and recently. Leandro Trossard has not started in any of the previous four games, prompting demands from a number of supporters for his recall.

It may be a coincidence that the Gunners haven’t won since the Belgium international was dropped from the starting lineup, but the fact that goals haven’t exactly been an issue recently effectively throws cold water on that theory, although it cannot be denied that he has frequently made an impact off the bench.

At the Etihad Stadium, he provided an assist for Rob Holding’s consolation goal, which came after he had replaced the ineffective Fabio Vieira. Against Southampton, he played well after replacing the ineffective Fabio Vieira and nearly scored an injury-time winner, but his shot struck the crossbar.

Intriguingly, Arteta has already acknowledged that his £21 million January transfer window acquisition does merit more starts, but he has also noted that the current abundance of attacking options at his disposal makes it difficult to find the ideal equilibrium.

“He performs daily. The Arsenal manager told reporters in the post-Southampton press conference, “It’s about how you play everyone together, with the right balance, without losing team structure and flow.” When he walked onstage, he unquestionably looked terrific again.

For Trossard to start against Chelsea, Arteta would have to alter his formation, personnel, or team balance.

Since transitioning to a 4-3-3 formation during the previous campaign, the Spanish coach has rarely deviated from it. Although he could revert to a 4-2-3-1 formation to accomodate Trossard – perhaps in the No. 10 position in place of captain Martin Odegaard – and maintain his preferred front three.

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In reality, Gabriel Martinelli’s current condition renders him virtually undroppable. Trossard could replace Gabriel Jesus or Bukayo Saka if the 4-3-3 formation persists, but that seems unlikely given that the Brazilian has scored since returning from injury and the latter is a starter under Arteta.

The other option is to give Trossard the No. 8 position, comparable to where he played when he came off the bench against the Saints, in place of Granit Xhaka, who would join Odegaard and most likely Thomas Partey in the engine room. However, this would be an enormous risk in terms of striking the correct balance.

Mikel Arteta’s Possible changes as Leandro Trossard might start against Chelsea