Arsenal Women have announced the signing of Lia Wälti from German side Turbine Potsdam.
25 year old Wälti is a Swiss international midfielder who has been with Turbine Potsdam since 2013. She has 46 caps for her country and won the Nationalliga A in her home country with YB Frauen in 2011.
She joins Austrian international Viki Schnaderbeck, who joined from Bayern Munich in May. They will add depth to a squad that has recently shed the likes of Alex Scott, Josy Henning, Chloe Kelly, Vyan Sampson, Heather O’Reilly and Jemma Rose.
Wälti told Arsenal.com, “It feels unreal at the moment and I’m just happy to be here, to start a new chapter in my career with other team-mates, another team, in another league and another language. I’m really looking forward to the next two years.
“When I came here in January to watch everything, I just felt welcome. They showed my everything and it was so professional. I’ve never seen it before and I just felt welcomed from the first second. That was the point in my heart where I said, ‘Yes, it’s the right time to come here and spend the next two years here at a club like Arsenal’.
“I play in central midfield normally but I can play as a centre defender too,” Walti added. “I think my strengths are my calmness in a game, to keep the game calm, to give good passes and not lose the ball.
“I’m a player who tries to take responsibility for the whole team in the game and take decisions. I’m just looking forward to it. If I can do the same things here in this team… First of all I’m just excited to meet all the players here, to play with them and then we can see how I will play here and if it’s the same style I played before, or if I can change something.”
Wälti will wear the number 19 shirt. It is expected that Tabea Kemme will follow Lia from Turbine Potsdam during the summer.