How effective were the January signings for Arsenal?
With just one game left of the Women’s Super League 2022/23 season, the desire to secure European football for another year has been complicated. But just how effective have the January signings been on finalising this position?
Before entering 2023, Arsenal stood just behind Chelsea on 24 points after 9 games. In February, Manchester United overtook the Gunners, which put Arsenal and Manchester City on level points.
Fast forward to the penultimate game of the season, and an injury dominated Arsenal currently sit in third position with 47 points. Chelsea have climbed to an impressive 55 points, in which United trail behind by two, meaning the title goes down to the final day. Similarly, the intensity also thrives between City and the Gunners, as a win for Arsenal over Aston Villa would further finalise a Champions League spot.
Victoria Pelova signed a permanent deal from Ajax in January, and has since made her mark on the pitch. The Dutch midfielder has made 10 appearances in a red shirt, with 8 of these from the first whistle.
During these matches she has become a pivotal player, with real strength in the central areas. Her ability to read the game has resulted in 3 assists and a goal for the Red Army.
At just 19 years old, Kathrine Kuhl became the second signing in the New Year. Her readiness for this level of the game is impressive, in which Jonas Eidevall has trusted the Danish midfielder with 3 starts out of her 11 appearances.
Despite her age showing some inexperience when up against the best sides, Kuhl’s creativity when in possession down the wing and central areas is something to look out for. Arsenal’s injury crisis has been a way for Kuhl to find her feet in the club with valuable minutes on the pitch.
The Brazilian international Gio Quieroz returned to The Arsenal later in January, and has replicated Kuhl’s excellence in her 9 appearances.
Although there may be worry surrounding the clubs fate, with numerous starting players watching on the sidelines, seeing these youngsters compete with high level players is reassuring to Gooners for the future of the North London Club.
Sabrina D’Angelo was the final addition to Eidevall’s squad, and a great addition too! Normally back-up keepers see minimal minutes across a season, especially coming in this late, but Sabrina has played 3 full games.
With the Champions League hopes for the Gunners, the main threat in the net- Zinsberger- took a step back in a crucial 5-1 North London Derby victory, in which Sabrina stepped up to the mark and stopped many shots, mostly from Spurs striker Bethany England.
A struggling Arsenal side, which only heightened with the increasing injury tally, became less complicated and uncertain with these new signings.
As there’s only 1 game left in the season against Aston Villa, these outfield players will be vital to ensure European football. Also, the impact these individuals have already made in their short time in the squad is positive for Arsenal’s preparations ahead of next season.