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Albion Analytics: Leandro Trossard

The midfielder marked his century of Albion appearances in some style on Saturday.

By Liam Tharme • 18 April 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
The Seagulls put in, arguably, their best performance of the season at Tottenham recently.

Leandro Trossard brought up a ton of Albion appearances (all competitions) when he started in Saturday’s win at Tottenham – only Neal Maupay (104) has made more appearances for Brighton under Graham Potter than Trossard, and only the Frenchman (34 – 27 goals, 7 assists) has more goal involvements in that time than the Belgian (26 – 16 goals, 10 assists).

And the 15-cap Belgian international marked his 100th appearance in fine fashion, netting the winner in North London. Trossard has now scored in consecutive games twice this season (against Liverpool then Newcastle earlier in the campaign). Trossard’s match-winner against Spurs was the eighth time he has netted the game-deciding goal in a Brighton shirt, meaning 50% (8/16) of his Albion goals have been winners.

Brighton’s No. 11  now has six goals to his name this season, a total only Neal Maupay (8) can better among Albion players, and it is the Belgian’s best goals return in a Premier League season thus far (five goals in each of his last two previous seasons). Impressively, seven of those strikes have come against ‘big-six’ sides.

This season is also Trossard’s best – compared to his two previous campaigns – in terms of shots per game (2.4), pass completion rate (78%), successful pressures per game (4.8), tackles + interceptions per game (2.2) and touches in the opposition box per game (5.5).

Not only are his outputs for dribbles leading to shots (13), final-third tackles (14) and dribble success rate (77%) his best so far for any Premier League season, but for each metric he ranks inside the top five players in the league this season, emphasising his ability in and out-of-possession.

Among Premier League forwards this season the Belgian is among the top 10% for (per 90) progressive passes (4), pass reception rate (77%), total touches (51), crosses (1.9) and dribbles completed (2), underlining the relative quality he has in ball progression, as well as shot production.

Trossard’s involvement has been growing season-by-season: he played 58% of available Premier League minutes in his debut campaign, which rose to 76% last season, and he has featured more regularly than ever this season, playing 85% of available minutes.

The forward has completed 22 of his 28 games this season, having been subbed in over half of his games in the last two seasons. And this has been justified through his output this season: Trossard tops the Brighton charts for shots (66), shots on target (23), successful open-play passes into the penalty area (51), shot-creating actions (77), final third tackles (14), touches in opposition box (149) and dribbles completed/attempted (56/73).

Across the last ten games, Trossard has been involved in almost 25% of Brighton’s sequences leading to shots (as per Understat’s xG data), the highest proportion of any Albion individual. In that time frame, he has been directly involved in the most shots (29 – 18 shots, 11 key passes) of any Brighton player.

Perhaps most notable is the style change, whereby Trossard has become progressively more involved in shot taking than creation – he averaged 1.11 shots per key pass in his debut season (2019/20), with this rate rising to 1.26 last campaign, and spiking up to 1.83 this year.

His two-footedness undoubtedly supports this: only 5 of his 166 Premier League shots have been headed, with the remainder split 60 left-footed (3 goals from 5.6xG) and 101 right-footed (13 goals from 11.1xG) – 37% of footed shots with non-dominant foot. In addition to this, only Pascal Gross (also 4) can match Trossard for outside the box goals for Brighton in the Premier League.