Transfer Talk: London rivals eye wantaway Seagulls star Trossard
Leandro Trossard was left out of the Brighton squad that beat Liverpool 3-0 last Saturday and his absence has sparked fresh transfer rumours.
The Belgium international was in fine form before the World Cup but has not featured in either of the Seagulls' last two Premier League games.
Trossard, 28, has scored seven times and tallied three assists for the South Coast club this season yet it remains unclear as to whether he will be recalled for the trip to Leicester on Saturday.
Ahead of that clash, we take a look at some of the potential options for the attacking ace and whether his turbulent influence could have a negative impact on Roberto De Zerbi's side.
We have seen Brighton's most formidable players snapped up by England's traditional top six on more than one occasion in the last few seasons.
Yves Bissouma got his move to Tottenham last summer, while Marc Cucurella swapped the South Coast for West London and joined Chelsea.
Both were considered two of Brighton's standout performers at the time. There is no denying that Trossard may be looking at himself in that category and expects a more prestigious club to table big money for his services.
Spurs have been heavily linked with the winger but are yet to make any significant moves for a player who would provide depth and competition for Heung-Min Son on the left-hand side.
The recent emergence of Japanese livewire Kaoru Mitoma has given De Zerbi a selection headache, with Trossard usually deployed in his position.
Mitoma's excellent form has meant that the former Genk man has been rotated and played out of position on more than one occasion, which could explain his drop in form since the World Cup.
Trossard's current contract is set to expire in the summer of 2024, meaning Brighton would still demand a substantial fee to agree to any potential exit.
Rumours suggest that Spurs recently made a verbal offer of £12million for the speedster, but it was swiftly rejected and reports state that the Seagulls value him at a much higher price.
Should he be forced to wait until his contract is up, Trossard would be close to 30, which may reduce his bargaining power for a long-term deal with a hefty salary.
However, a transfer may be the best resolution to solve the ongoing conflict between player and manager, with the former reportedly leaving the country earlier in the week.
Other London clubs including Arsenal and Chelsea will be keen to add to their ranks as they look to push on in the second half of the campaign, which may benefit Trossard and his entourage.
Any bidding war would likely see him get his desired move and it would save him from sitting on the Brighton bench until next season.
De Zerbi's vow
Despite Trossard's recent exclusion, De Zerbi has explained to the media his relationship with the No11 and stated his desire to keep the diminutive talent.
The Italian coach, 43, said: "I want to be clear about Leo. I’m sorry for this situation. I didn’t think I made a mistake with him, the people at the club know the situation well, and I’m fine with myself.
"I’m open to him and ready to open the door to him. He’s a good guy and a very important player for us.
"He has to understand he has to work in my way because I am the coach and I decide the rules inside the dressing room.
"It’s not a bad situation, it’s a great situation because if we learn from it we can only improve.
"We only have one way to achieve our dream. We are Brighton, we all have to work hard and only think about the team and not ourselves."
Making a splash
Trossard is enjoying one his best seasons in a Brighton shirt and sits just one goal away from his 2021-22 total of eight strikes.
A big-game player, the dynamic goal threat notched a hat-trick at Liverpool and found the back of the net against both Manchester City and Chelsea this term, proving he can compete at the top level.
His treble in the 3-3 draw against Jurgen Klopp's Reds demonstrated his fantastic technical ability and pace. He used his body well to create the first goal and replicated it with a carbon copy for the second.
The third strike saw him in the right place at the right time to hit a half-volley home, rounding off an almost perfect day for the marksman.
He became only the third opposition player to score a Premier League hat-trick at Anfield and it highlighted his ability to be a real asset against elite opposition.
His future remains unclear, but whoever Trossard is playing for come February, they will be grateful to have his talent in their ranks.