Graham Potter may look to raid former club Brighton and bring Leandro Trossard with him to Chelsea.
The Belgian forward was one of the stars of Potter’s Seagulls and is now being linked with a move to follow his old boss to Stamford Bridge.
With the 27-year-old out to impress against Liverpool on Saturday, we consider whether the switch could happen and what he would bring to the West Londoners.
Trossard returns from international duty with things looking a lot different at the Amex after the Seagulls confirmed Roberto De Zerbi as Potter’s successor last week.
One thing almost certain to stay the same, though, is that he will remain a key man under the new boss.
Clearly a talented player when he arrived in the summer of 2019, the forward has added consistency to his game in recent times and is so often a difference maker.
Managing an impressive eight goals and three assists in 2021-22, he has already notched a further two strikes and set up one this term.
A 5-2 win over Leicester in Brighton’s last Premier League game was a prime example of what Trossard offers when at his best.
His pinpoint cross allowed Solly March to score with a header before he netted himself with a tidy finish and won a penalty late in the game.
The Genk youth product now believes he is playing his best football since heading to the English top flight.
He said: “I have evolved enormously. I now know how the Premier League works.
“I grew a lot in that. Confidence, mentally, physically, I have got better. I’ve mastered the tricks now.”
Keen on a move
While the South Coast club will be keen to hang onto their star, speculation linking him with a move to Chelsea is not dying down.
That may be partly due to the player himself, who has openly admitted the switch interests him.
He recently said: “Our coach did leave for Chelsea now but speculation about me following him makes no sense.
“If the opportunity arises, I want to go. But I want to play and not sit on the bench.”
With Trossard likely competing with Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz in the attacking positions, it is easy to see why he might have reservations.
If he did make the switch, Potter will pick up a player he knows understands his style of play — and that may just stand him in good stead for featuring regularly.
A versatile and technically-gifted left-sided attacker who does not shirk his defensive duties, Trossard was able to thrive for Brighton regardless of what formation the Solihull-born tactician opted for.
He featured as one of the strikers or as a left wing-back when Potter played with three centre-backs and in a left midfield role when opting for a back four.
Potter deployed Sterling at left wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation during his first game against FC Salzburg in the Champions League — and the England star scored in a 1-1 draw.
Trossard could easily slot into that position if he made the move, which would allow Sterling to be pushed further forward and make more of a difference inside the box.
While Chelsea is no doubt a step up in quality and expectation compared to what he is used to on the South Coast, Trossard has experienced playing in a big side with Belgium.
Alongside the likes of superstars Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, he has made himself a regular feature in his nation’s first-choice XI — racking up 21 caps.
He scored an impressive double in his country’s 6-1 Nations League win over Poland in June and will likely be someone Roberto Martinez will lean on during the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
Ahead of Euro 2020 last summer, the Red Devils boss revealed how impressed he was with Trossard’s development at the Amex Stadium.
He said: “Leandro is the Red Devil who has perhaps developed the most in the past year. In March we saw the real Trossard.
“A player who dares to take his team by the hand and who can play in different positions. In tournament football it is important that you have players who can break open a match.
“So it is interesting to have such players in the selection.”
One to watch
It would not be the first time Brighton have allowed one of their most valuable assets to move on.
Marc Cucurella and Yves Bissouma departed for a combined total of more than £80million in the summer, while Ben White was sold to Arsenal for £50m a year earlier.
The Seagulls board would once again likely sanction a move if their asking price is met, especially given Trossard’s contract expires next summer.
It would not be the flashy signing Todd Boehly has shown a preference for since becoming the Blues’ owner, but it could be a smart one.
If Potter decides he wants his former No11 with him in West London, expect the American to have no hesitation in paying whatever price Brighton request.