Did Arsenal or Chelsea get the better deal?

The 2023 January transfer window has so far been a very exciting one. We’ve seen some intriguing bits of business in the Premier League, with some sides plotting carefully and others taking to the market like it’s Career Mode.

We’ll let you decide in what categories Arsenal and Chelsea should be placed.

The Gunners have bided their time and managed to lure Leandro Trossard away from his unfavourable situation at Brighton for a seemingly cut-price deal – the club’s only confirmed arrival thus far.

Meanwhile, the Blues have seen a plain-full of new players arrive at Cobham, with Mykhailo Mudryk standing out as the most Hollywood-esque but also the most liable to flop.

But who, when taking into account the signings of these two wide-forwards, got the better deal, Arsenal or Chelsea?

The first, and easiest, point of reference when deciding if either got a ‘good’ deal, is the price of each player. Now, quite evidently, one side paid a lot more for their forward than the other.

While Trossard’s falling out with Roberto De Zerbi allowed Mikel Arteta to swoop in and negotiate a deal that might have involved heftier financial compensation in different circumstances, Mudryk’s importance and value at Shakhtar Donetsk led Graham Potter and Chelsea to the opposite end of the spectrum.

In comparison to Trossard’s £27m move, Mudryk’s fee of around £89m is mind-blowing. Both players are signed to long-term deals so, although Chelsea’s new winger boasts a lengthier contract, the fees refuse to comply with logic on paper.

Are they reflective of quality and experience, however? Quite simply, no – again, Arsenal look to have got the better end of the stick.

While Trossard is now a firmly established Premier League player that demonstrates his quality in the toughest of challenges, Mudryk hasn’t even reached 50 top-flight appearances.

Arsenal’s new man arrives at the Emirates on the back of three and a half solid years in England’s top tier with Brighton. The Belgian’s progression in the Seagulls’ side reached new heights last term as he provided consistently bright performances throughout, and he leaves the club this campaign having scored seven and assisted three in the Premier League already.

Mudryk, on the other hand, leaves Shakhtar having played a total of 38 Ukrainian Premier Liga games across three clubs. His numbers, however, are pretty frightening – as is his rarely-seen talent for driving forward and beating his opponents with ease.

While Trossard’s career might have been a slow burner, 22-year-old Mudryk has been a firework, impressing all who have seen him in action. The winger departs Ukraine having notched 21 goal involvements in those 38 top-flight appearances and leaves Shakhtar with seven goals and six assists in the first half of the campaign.

That’s where this debate becomes much more problematic; the issue of age and potential – factors that transfer fees are heavily reliant on.

At 28, Trossard can progress further to become a top-quality asset for the Gunners – and he undoubtedly already has the platform to do so – but, at 22, Mudryk has the whole world at his feet, as Arsenal know all too well having failed in their own pursuit of him.

His blistering prowess with the ball at his feet, his consistently tangible output in the short time he’s had on the field so far in his career, and his visible love for flair and excitement give him the platform to make himself a Premier League stalwart, favourite and – dare we say – a Chelsea great in the coming years.

It’s difficult to draw up in black and white who got the better deal.

Arsenal’s signing of Trossard is undeniably the more sensible, frugal and, in the very short-term, likely to be the more fruitful.

Chelsea’s acquisition of Mudryk, however, is exciting, fascinating and captivating. Boasting attributes that make the mind reminisce of Neymar and Eden Hazard’s glory days in blue, Mudryk certainly has the potential to pay off that gargantuan transfer fee. As we know, though, Premier League adaptation can be a cruel mistress.

Risk assessments would have a field day deciding this one but, as football romantics and keen neutrals, we have to side with Chelsea’s blockbuster business.

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