When a new coach joins a club it often transpires that key players from the former club end up joining them in their quest. See Jorginho following Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea, Lisandro Martinez and Antony going with Erik ten Hag to Manchester United, Ricardo Carvalho joining Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge too.
Pep Guardiola has his favourites, Mourinho has managed Nemanja Matic at three different clubs, Antonio Conte likes certain wing-backs such as Victor Moses and David Moyes, well he likes Marouane Fellaini. These players are trusted, useful and sometimes versatile, they help to transition the new club and the new manager together. When Graham Potter joined Chelsea there were reverse moves that ended up not making sense.
Billy Gilmour only left the Blues to join Brighton days before Potter moved on, Levi Colwill is on a season-long loan on the south coast, partly down to the 47-year-old. The transfer of Potter for around £18million in compensation and £2million for his backroom staff was seen as a worthwhile investment by Todd Boehly and now the Seagulls could be on the receiving end of more phone calls with the American co-owner.
Having spent a large part of the transfer window building relationships and courting new players or targets, Boehly may have to keep up the act with Potter for a while longer, at least until there is consensus over a director of football at Stamford Bridge. When this happens, one of the first names on Potter’s transfer list may well be Leandro Trossard.
The Belgian ticks plenty of ‘trusty player’ boxes. He’s versatile, knows Potter well and has a good relationship with him and, on the face of it, would improve Chelsea straight away. The 27- year-old has a contract that expires next year and with Potter having moved on, it could delay or impact contract talks.
Currently away on international duty with his country, the versatile winger-come-wingback- come-striker-come-attacking midfielder has opened the door to following his former manager to London, saying:
“Our coach has now left for Chelsea, but speculations about me following him are pointless. If the opportunity arises, I want to go. But I do want to play and not sit on the couch.”
The move would be a shrewd one for Chelsea after Trossard scored eight times and assisted eight last season. Only Mason Mount had more goal involvements than that last term and his impressive form has continued into this campaign with two goals and two assists in six matches already this season.
With Potter appearing to use a similar system to his Brighton shape in Chelsea’s match against RB Salzburg it would also have room to fit Trossard in at several positions. Although Trossard’s worry about not being a first choice option is understandable, especially with Callum Hudson-Odoi offering a mid-season solution for Potter if he wanted to recall the winger , and Christian Pulisc and Hakim Ziyech still on the books, but the latter two are both expected to move on in the next two windows, therefore creating a spot for Trossard.
He is used to competition too and has explained the battle to play for Roberto Martinez that he has: “The choice is up to the coach. We all know what Eden Hazard can do when he is fit. But I can also play on the right. I do not care. I feel very good. We have had a very good start with Brighton. I have evolved enormously. I now know how Premier League works. I grew a lot in that.
Confidence, mentally, physically, I have got better. I’ve mastered the tricks now.” Thanks in part to Potter, Trossard is now an experienced Premier League player, boasting more than 100 appearances, and has the opportunity, should it arise, to keep pushing his development even further.