Former Brighton & Hove Albion defender Sebastien Pocognoli praised the club’s move to recruit Leandro Trossard from Genk, and believes the Belgian winger possesses the attributes to shine in the Premier League.
Pocognoli has witnessed Trossard’s success in the Jupiler Pro League as an opposing captain at Standard Liege, with the 31-year-old helping Genk’s rivals to a third-placed finish last season.
Trossard sealed a move to the Premier League last week, and Pocognoli highlighted the ability of his fellow countryman, who scored 22 goals for Genk during the 2018/19 campaign.
He said, “I don’t know Leandro personally, but I’ve played against him and seen him play a lot. It’s a good signing for Brighton because he’s one of the most talented Belgian players in the league.
“He was captain of the league champions last season, so not only does he have the quality, he also has the personality as well.
“He’s been on loan a handful of times, but he showed his real quality over the past two seasons at Genk, where he’s been growing and learning.
“Leandro was very good last season, especially in their Europa League campaign. He also got in the national team and that was a very big step.”
Pocognoli helped the Seagulls win promotion to the Premier League in 2017, and he backed Trossard to succeed in the top flight after a period of adaption on the south coast.
“He’ll need to adapt to English football as it’s not the same as in Belgium, but I think he has the character and quality to adapt to the Premier League.
“The intensity and physicality of the game is different in England, so you need strength and power in your game to succeed, and he’ll need to learn that.
“He has a good cross, good finishing and he’s quite quick, but he’ll need to adapt slightly to meet the needs of English football.”
Trossard received his first call-up to Belgium’s senior side last season, and Pocognoli believes the winger’s new home will provide him with the ideal platform to push forward for both club and country.
“Brighton is the perfect club for somebody moving to England. Brighton will give him the time to adapt, not too long, but there’s not the same pressure you get with the top-eight clubs.
“It’s a family club, just like Genk, and especially for me, I felt that when I played for Brighton. For Leandro, that will be good as it’s his first foreign experience.
“Leandro is also a new player for Belgium, so moving to the Premier League can only be seen as a positive step for his international career.”