Arsenal coach Jonas Eidevall says that the signing of Swedish striker Stina Blackstenius is not linked to the future of Vivianne Miedema. Miedema’s contract expires at the end of the season and the Dutch striker has still not decided whether to sign a fresh deal with Arsenal or to move on.
Eidevall says that 25-year-old Blackstenius, signed from Hacken in Sweden, is not a replacement for Miedema ahead of time and he envisages a scenario where the players can play together. Asked about that by Arseblog News on Friday afternoon, Eidevall said,
“I hope so, yes. That’s definitely one of the scenarios that I am seeing but against some opposition, maybe even a game like Birmingham last week when space gets limited in the initial phases of possession, it could be a good idea to have a player like Viv deeper maybe playing as a 10 to help us to create.
“But when we created against Birmingham on Sunday, we had nobody in the box to finish the attack so that’s definitely something I am seeing as a possibility but also they can play as 9s.
“For me, the arrival of Stina has nothing to do with Viv’s future. To sign Stina and add her to the squad is the right way to go in any of the scenarios, if Viv stays, which we hope she will, or if she is not staying then we will need to go and find a replacement for her and for that type of player too.
“I am looking at both scenarios where they can play together or where they can play at different times and that depends a lot on how we set up the team and also with the games, the minutes and the player load and how we structure that.”
Arseblog News also asked about Blackstenius’ qualities as a player, highlighting her ability to press from the front as one of them. ”
“It is a big quality of hers, I also think a standout for Stina is, especially when you see her in the national team, is her ability to score goals in the really, really big games. That is down to a lot of factors but I think the main factor is that she’s an excellent player running in behind when there is space.
“If you look, for example, at the Barcelona games, I think we missed that quality in the squad to punish teams who play with a high defending line. So she can help us with that as well.”