Should Arsenal try the Odegaard, Trossard, and Rice midfield combination?

Arsenal has performed admirably this season, topping their Champions League group so they may qualify for the knockout stages when they play next with a game to spare. And they are third in the Premier League standings, one point behind league leaders Manchester City.

There have been many positives about Arsenal this season, but there have also been some concerns. One of the issues that has caused concern is who will play the left-sided No. 8 position as well as Xhaka did. The ideal solution to the vacuum left by Xhaka has yet to be discovered by Mikel Arteta. Kai Havertz, who ought to have replaced him, has failed to live up to expectations.

Of late Arteta has chosen to utilize Declan Rice in an offensive role, with Jorginho playing as No. 6. However, why not give another player, Leandro Trossard, a chance to fill the Granit Xhaka void?

When Gabriel Jesus returns, Trossard may find himself warming the bench, but should he be sidelined when he is as influential as he is?
The Belgian is excellent in tight spaces, understands positional rotations, is a solid chance creator, possesses exceptional finishing, and has the highest G/A per 90 since joining Arsenal.

With such qualities, why can’t Trossard shine as the No. 8?

He once claimed that he could excel as an attacking midfielder. “I like to be in the pocket behind the striker. On the wings, I can explore myself as well.

“I’m comfortable in either of those positions, but if I were to choose, behind the striker — but it all depends on the system.

“I think I’m good in 1 v 1’s. I’m composed in the box, so if I get chances, I can finish them off,” Trossard told after joining.

Arteta also, not long ago, praised his creative abilities. “He’s so good in small spaces, tight spaces, with his creativity to open people up, and I’m really happy with him,” the Arsenal boss said via of the ex-Brighton man.

Although some may argue that his defensive game is untested, Rice’s presence in the No. 6 role effectively addresses Arsenal’s defensive midfield.

How potent could a midfield trio of Odegaard, Trossard, and Rice be, if Arteta used it regularly?

Sam P

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Tags Havertz Trossard Xhaka role


  1. Tossard is already a withdrawn number 9. So he is halfway between a clear front number 9 and an advanced number 8. This false number 9 suits him better as he does not possess the energy required for a number 8, and he has the clinical ability of a striker. They should promote ZINY who has the energy, to a full midfield roll. Then get in a new left back to replace him, who can give us more overlapping runs, crosses and more security at the back.

  2. Zinchenko is more suited to the left-sided part of the midfield than Trossard.

    Arteta should give Zinny a chance.

  3. Arteta is right in every perspectiv, but due to the pride of English FA , they will still charged him, becos, the corrupt do not people to tell them the truth. If not why are they now talking about additional technology and more cameras for the offside rule to help var in decision making. Arteta you have done well, the truth teller will not fall into pit. Let the fine comes and see what will happen.

  4. No team can afford to have two midfielders is the first 11 who are weak aerially midfield is where tall men is a necessity.

    1. Good point Grandad.
      Arteta didn’t try Partey in midfield to start the season, instead chose the laughable monstrosity of Partey at RB to force in Havertz.

      Even worse, doubled down on that nonsense as if people would not believe their own eyes watching that sputtering flailing setup.

      Unfortunately Arteta takes too long to correct mistakes, and this Havertz experiment is likely to continue.

      Rice has been absolute class, doing the job of 2 midfielders simultaneously, and our player of the season by a mile.

      Obviously we need upgrades in midfield and striker, but will Arteta admit his preferred choices are not good enough?

  5. Xhaka wasn’t an attacking midfielder and wasn’t good in tight spaces, he played the box to box role. His movements were really important to the team in attack *and defence*. I think rice is the perfect replacement as he has a lot of similar qualities, is better defensively, more mobile and has an excellent ability to carry the ball upfield. Xhaka’s passing was a bit better and he was obviously far more experienced than rice is now, but overall I think rice is an upgrade for now and will only get better with time. We really need a replacement for partey – jorginho is the right type of player for his on-the-ball skills, but we need someone with a greater physical presence.
    Playing trossard in the ‘xhaka’ role would be similar to playing Vieira there – it might work in some games/situations but would leave us more open defensively. As good as rice is, this would be asking him to protect the defence entirely on his own – it’s a bit much in this league.

    1. Well said👌Havertz should have been a good replacement for Xhaka but he seem better in Odegard’s role as a deputy. Rice is the best option we have. We need a good replacement for Pathey. I think Arteta is intelligent enough that’s why he’s been craving for Villa DUoglas Luise who can easily fit into Pathey’s role. But I bet Villa won’t sell. So the search for Pathey’s replacement continues .

      1. Agree, that seems to be the thinking – I honestly don’t know good Luiz is, but it seems he’s more of a partey type of player, and agree, I think it’s very unlikely we’d be able to sign him in January – villa will either refuse outright, or will ask for a crazy amount. Maybe we would swap ESR? Not sure I’d be happy about it, but it would make some sense – it would, however, put huge pressure on Luiz if he were signed under those circumstances. Fans would be on him for any mistakes..

  6. We’d better not become sorcerers apprentices. There are high level midfield players who should come in with regular transfers. That’s how you build teams for titles, not Baptisms from the existing ones. It’s like saying if the rice scores, could it be part of our attacking Triad? No. The English used to say tell me your midfielders and I’ll tell you which team You have. Has Trossard ever shown he can play center? He is a pure forward. We need two more nutty players in center who can Where they can intercept others and bring the team forward. It doesn’t take much knowledge. All words words, and when the time comes for transfers we are looking for them. Also players who are not going to They offer nothing and when for various reasons they better go somewhere else and fatten their butts. And that’s enough

  7. No. It doesn’t work that way except in games we are expected to dominate which doesn’t exist in the prem and of course Cl knockout stages.

  8. I honestly believe Arteta’s preferred midfield trio is Odegaard, Havertz and Rice. Once all 3 are in sync, I think they will be phenomenal.

  9. Havertz played left back for Germany last night, albeit an attacking Zinchenko style LB.

    Zinchenko plays midfield for Ukraine

    Perhaps that is a swap worth considering?

  10. Absolutely not! Trossard does a lot of things well and he is a good player but he is only good, he’s not great. And he’s not a midfielder. Neither is Havertz, not any more. Personally, I would like to see us so away with the inverted LB and go to a big back four of White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu. A solid, technical midfield of Rice, Zinchenko, Odegaard. And any combination of Saka, Martinelli, Jesus, Havertz, Trossard up front. I would like to see Havertz in a proper False 9 position where he can just float around and be allowed to get into the box. He finds better positions than anyone else in the team he just needs to start finishing like Martinelli and bang we have a 20+ goal scorer once again. This team is made for him, he just needs to be used properly.

    1. A good idea of starting Havertz as false no.9. This would allow Jesus to rotate with Saka and Trossard to rotate with Martinelli.

  11. It may be a good idea but I would prefer Zinchenko as the left no.8. The reason being he has experience in that position playing for Ukraine. Trossard is a great player and will fit into multiple positions.

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