Leandro Trossard's introduction to Roberto De Zerbi was a text message from his new manager that carried a simple instruction: ‘I want more goals from you.’
The Belgian could not have provided a more emphatic response as he became the first visiting player to score a hat-trick at Anfield since Arsenal’s Andrey Arshavin netted four in 2009.
Trossard’s treble earned Brighton a 3-3 draw with Liverpool but on reflection it could — and should — have been so much more.
De Zerbi, in charge for the first time following Graham Potter’s defection to Chelsea, gave an indication of the adventurous way he will want Brighton to play and Trossard can see only exciting times for a team that deserves its place in the top four.
‘The last months we have stepped up our level,’ said Trossard. ‘It has increased, the whole team has played so well, got a lot of points, we have got a lot of confidence. We need to carry on how we are, working hard, and you will see at the end, you get what you deserve.
‘You can see it on the pitch how the new manager wants to let us play, how passionate he is about football. We can progress under him. It is clear how he wants to play and even in three days I’ve learned a lot. We are going to enjoy our time with him.’
Trossard certainly enjoyed his trip to Merseyside. He left cradling the match ball — his first treble since 2018 when he was playing for Genk — but he also left with a slight frustration that his efforts did not secure three points.
‘The manager said he was happy with me, how I already played, but that he wanted more goals from me,’ Trossard revealed. ‘I said, “If you get me the chances, I will score them!” And now today it’s brilliant that I could score three and especially that we got a point from it as well.
‘You know at Anfield that it is always hard but, if you are 2-0 up, you just have that feeling to get the three points.
‘On the other hand, they had some chances. Maybe at the end it is a well-deserved draw but you always want more, especially as we are playing with a lot of confidence.’
Trossard added: ‘I had a knock on my knee, I said I will carry on but I didn’t want to take any chances of it getting worse. But then I scored the goal. I suppose that’s how football goes.’