Joe Cole says Arsenal have been taken by ‘surprise’ over star’s impact | Football

Mikel Arteta’s side cruised past the Cherries on Saturday (Picture: Shutterstock)

Joe Cole believes the impact of Leandro Trossard has taken Arsenal by ‘surprise’ after he impressed in Saturday’s 3-0 win over AFC Bournemouth.

Trossard scored Arsenal’s second goal at the Emirates to help his side go four points clear of second-placed Manchester City before their game against Wolves.

The 29-year-old Belgium international has now conjured up 11 goals across 32 Premier League games this season and Cole has been left impressed by him.

Cole was working as a pundit for TNT Sports alongside former Arsenal star Martin Keown as they analysed the Gunners’ victory over the Cherries in north London.

‘We nearly bought [Mykhailo] Mudryk from Chelsea, and we’re still not sure about him,’ Keown said. ‘But we’re certainly sure about Trossard.

‘A lot cheaper, £20 million. I mean, it’s incredible. Great bit of business and you have to credit Edu and his team for honing in on that target.’

Cole then offered his own thoughts and said: ‘I think with the Mudryk situation, he’s a project.

Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and AFC Bournemouth

Leandro Trossard scored in Arsenal’s win over AFC Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)

‘There’s a player in Mudryk and he’s improving and he’s getting better and Chelsea will, hopefully, touch wood, get the best of him.

‘I think they’ve pivoted and thought, “Right, we haven’t got the player we wanted, that we could ease into the squad, but we’ll go for Trossard who can come in and do a job off the bench”.

‘And I don’t think even the people here [thought he’d do this well]. I think they’re surprised by how well he’s done.

‘I watched him play plenty of times, I think he’s a top player, but I didn’t see him having the effect he’s had. So fair play to him, he’s been brilliant.’

With two games to spare, Arsenal have now already equalled their Premier League win tally from last season, in which they narrowly missed out on the title.

Only in the 1930-31 and 1970-71 seasons have the Gunners won more games in a single top-flight campaign.

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