Sunday, July 3, 2022

Arsenal Women sign Rafaelle Souza

Arsenal Women have signed 30-year-old Brazil centre-half Rafaelle Souza after her contract at Chinese club Changchun Zhuoyue expired. Rafaelle (pronounced “Haf-eye-elly”) spent last season on loan at Palmeiras in her native Brazil. The move was reported by Arseblog News earlier this month.

Rafaelle played in China for five years before leaving at the end of her contract in December, saying that the covid situation made it difficult for her to continue to play in the country. Rafaelle has also played for Houston Dash but Arsenal will be her first European club and she will also be Arsenal Women’s first Brazilian player.

The experienced defender comes in with Anna Patten having joined Aston Villa on loan this January and with Laura Wienroither also having been added to the squad during this window.

Rafaelle Souza has 33 caps for her country and has formed a solid partnership with Erika at the heart of the Brazil defence. She was a Copa America winner in 2018. Nicknamed ‘Fafa’, Rafaelle is a left-footed centre-half with good long and short distribution and she is renowned for her ability in the air. Jen Beattie and Viki Schnaderbeck’s deals expire at the end of the season and both are unlikely to extend. Rafaelle has played at left-back regularly during her career too as well as in midfield.

“I’m so excited.” Rafaelle told Arsenal.com. “I feel great to be here and to be playing in such a strong and competitive league. I feel like when I decided to come here, I was looking for a club where I can show my football and show my skills and be in the centre of the world. That’s my challenge, to show my football to the world.”

“We’re delighted to be able to welcome Rafaelle to the club,” said head coach Jonas Eidevall. “Her international experience, technical ability and leadership qualities make her an important signing for us – I’m looking forward to working with her and I’m sure the Arsenal fans are excited to see her in action.”

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Andrew

Anyone know if the Chinese women’s game is at a similar level to the English one?

Johnny 4 Hats

After watching one game you feel like you don’t want to watch any more. But then, like two hours later, you’re ready to watch a game again.

Henkamp

Yep, watched highlights of her and could immediately see she is a beast in the air in both boxes

Welcome to the Arsenal, Souza. Dominate strikers, score goals, win trophies, and become a cult hero ar The mighty Arsenal!

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Care to share the highlights you found?

Ricky

Is she the first Brazilian in the WSL?

Duno

Perhaps the Women can give us a few pointers in tying up January deals. Welcome Fafa.

Catlike

Well transfer fees are very low in the women’s league (record amount was £200,000). So it is quite different. Female footballers also sign much shorter contracts (~2 years). So, it’s more about waiting until players become available and convincing them to join.

Indiegooner

That’s one determined looking woman

SSAR

What are the chances for Arsenal to convince Schnaderbeck to stay? Viki is such an amazing player, very unlucky with the injuries.

Canadagoon

I mostly just watch highlight packs of the women’s team but have read a lot of comments here that our CB’s are too slow. Does ‘Fafa’ address this, does she have pace?

Peter Story Teller

She is described as “A pacey, skilful and experienced defender” by the club website.
Depends on their definition of “pacey” I guess!

GunnerX

A bit like Pablo Mari but better then!

Canadagoon

Thanks Tim (and Pete)!

GunnerX

Welcome to Arsenal Fafa! 💯

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