Arsenal Women have reinforced their defence ahead of the 2017-18 season with the signings of Swedish international Jessica Samuelsson and the return of Germany international Josephine Henning. With Casey Stoney and youngsters Anna Patten and Lotte Wubben-Moy having left recently, the Gunners were in great need of defensive reinforcements.
They announced the signing of Swedish defender Jessica Samuelsson on Friday. Samuelsson can play at right-back or left-back, which will provide captain Alex Scott with competition and provide key cover at left-back with Emma Mitchell still recovering from a cruciate ligament injury.
With Fara Williams’ departure to Reading, Dominique Janssen will probably move into her more natural midfield role, with Samuelsson providing left-back insurance in her stead. Samuelsson joins from Linkopings, the 25 year old has also played for Australian side Melbourne Victory. She has 24 caps for Sweden and will wear the number 25 shirt.
The return of Josephine Henning is a more surprising signing. The German centre half left Arsenal 12 months ago to join Lyon’s historic treble winning team. She was also a gold medal winner in last year’s Rio Olympics with Germany. But she has returned to the Gunners, whom she helped to FA Cup glory in 2016.
Pedro Losa’s side is also heavily linked with 24-year old Norwegian centre half Maria Thorisdottir, who currently plies her trade with Klepp. She has 16 caps for her country. Arsenal have already added to their attacking options over the close season with the captures of Dutch striker Vivienne Miedema and Scottish winger Lisa Evans. The girls kick off their WSL campaign with a home game against Birmingham City on 24th September.