From learning his trade in the second tier of Belgian football to playing on the biggest stage of all at the World Cup, Leandro Trossard’s journey to north London has been one filled with twists and turns.
Our new signing has made an impression everywhere he has been, and here we take you through his gradual climb to becoming a star in the Premier League and on the international scene:
Boyhood dream comes true
Leandro was born in Maasmechelen, which is situated just inside Belgium on the border with the Netherlands. He grew up supporting local side Genk, and would sign for their youth academy aged 16. Just two years later, he made his debut for the senior side as a late substitute in a game against Gent in May 2012.
That would be one of two appearances he’d make for Genk before he was sent out on loan to gain experience over the next few seasons. He netted seven goals in 12 appearances for Lommel United in the second tier during the season half of the 2012/13 season, and then helped Westerlo win promotion as champions the following campaign. A third season was spent in the Challenger League as he returned to Lommel in 2014/15 and scored 16 times in 30 league games.
That earned him a crack at the top-flight, albeit it came on loan at OH Leuven and he actually made his debut against his parent club and provided an assist in a 3-1 loss. He would score eight times and provide seven assists during that campaign, prompting Genk to finally give him a crack in their side.
Captain and champion
Leandro gradually forced his way into the Genk side, playing as a left winger under current Gunners assistant boss Albert Stuivenberg. He featured for them in the Europa League during two of the next three campaigns, making 27 appearances in the competition and scoring 11 times, and received a couple of call-ups to the Belgian squad without winning a cap.
The 2018/19 season would prove to be his breakout campaign. He netted 14 times in the league to help Genk to their first league title in eight years, and was handed the captain’s armband towards the end of that successful campaign.
Starring for the Seagulls
That form prompted Brighton to snap him up for a reported £18 million in the summer of 2019, and he quickly made an impression as he scored on his debut against West Ham United. That would be the first of five goals that term to help Brighton avoid relegation, and the same number would follow the next campaign as he adapted well to life in England.
The goals kept coming over the next two seasons, including one at our expense back in April 2022 when he opened the scoring in Brighton’s 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium. He currently has 25 Premier League goals to his name, coming in 116 appearances.
His Premier League performances finally led him to making his first appearance for his national side in September 2020 in a UEFA Nations League game against Denmark. He would win six caps before netting his first international goals against Belarus and earning himself a spot in Roberto Martinez’s Euro 2020 squad, where he made one appearance in a group stage win against Finland.
The season so far
Trossard headed into the World Cup in great form, netting seven goals in a run of 10 games between August and October including a hat-trick at Anfield against Liverpool, becoming the first visiting player to do so in the Premier League since Andrey Arshavin’s memorable four -goal haul for us in 2009.
He made three appearances in Qatar before Belgium’s surprise group-stage exit, and heads to north London having netted seven times and provided three assists in the league so far this term, with his last appearance for the Seagulls coming in our encounter at the Amex Stadium on New Year’s Eve.
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