The case for and against Leandro Trossard: Brighton and Hove Albion's super-sub or star man?
By Jacob Panons
Leandro Trossard has, at times, been one of Brighton’s stand-out performers this season.
But there is still a question on whether or he should start or be utilised as an impact substitute.
Here, Jacob Panons looks at the for and against.
The case for starting Trossard
When looking at reasons why the Belgian winger should start games it is hard to ignore his influence in the final third. Since his summer transfer from Genk he has registered two goals and two assists. He is involved in a goal every other game on average.
Trossard won the free-kick against Liverpool last Saturday which led to Albion's goal (and Alisson's sending off). Trossard also had a 'goal' against West Ham - a game in which he scored - and an assist against Southampton ruled out by VAR.
Although the goals didn’t stand, it indicates the Belgian is getting in the right places and his clever movement continually creates for his team. A major plus for starting Trossard is also his delivery from set-pieces.
The Belgian has the ability to hit the right spots which is vital for the likes of Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, Dan Burn and Shane Duffy who love to get forward and win headers from freekicks and corners.
Also, if you look at the players that do play when Trossard is on the bench, they do not seem to be as effective as the Belgian winger in final third. Pascal Gross, Steven Alzate, Glenn Murray, and Aaron Mooy are just a few names who have been called up to the starting lineup in Trossard’s absence.
The team has looked most dangerous when Trossard is on the left, which was seen at the beginning of the season before his injury. Since his spell out of the team, the only games he has started have been against Manchester United away and Leicester City at home. It is perhaps understandable why his influence was limited against two strong sides, as Brighton struggled as a team in both matches.
The case against Trossard starting
There are some reasons which suggest the attacker may be best left on the bench and utilised as a ‘super-sub’ capable of changing a match in an instant against tiring defenders. Out of the three games Trossard has come on from the bench, he has been involved in a goal (or two) on each occasion.
Recording one goal and two assists (although his free kick won against Liverpool counts as a goal involvement as it led to a goal). Also, it must be said that in the games he has started he has struggled to make an impact, scoring just one goal on his first start for the club against West Ham.
Brighton have also lost in four of the five games he has started. If you look at the games where he has come off of the bench Brighton have won twice, and were so close to gaining a point at Anfield. While against Everton and Norwich City Trossard's impact from the bench was clear to see.
Most importantly, Trossard thrives as a winger. His main work is carried out in the attacking third and sometimes Potter prefers a midfielder who is powerful in defence and attack - such as a Mooy, an Alzate or a Gross.
It's clear that Brighton have a highly talented player on their hands and how they get the best from him is up to Potter. Trossard is a great option to have and many fans would love to see him play from the start and be a key figure for Albion this season.
A consistent and injury-free run in the starting XI would really show what level Trossard can reach in the Premier League. However, much will depend on Potter's tactics and formations for each match. It really is a simple case of horses for courses.
I wouldn't be surprised if playing Trossard one week and dropping down to the bench for the next continues. We have seen flashes of what he can do and I for one would like to see more from the start. He is a genuine match winner and if Potter can build a platform on which he can shine, Brighton could have a little star on their hands.