Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall says the chance to play at centre-half was a big driving factor behind allowing Anna Patten to join Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season.
With Leah Williamson, Jen Beattie, Simone Boye, Viki Schnaderbeck and Lotte Wubben-Moy available at centre-half, Patten’s role has been as a deputy to Noelle Maritz at right-back. However, Eidevall says game time at centre-half, as well as game-time in general, was a big determining factor in the decision to let her go on loan.
“We think this will be really great for Anna, she really wanted more game time and I think Aston Villa will provide that for her. Also in a role that suits her a little bit better than her role with us.
“Here, we have so many centre-backs that she has been playing at right-back but I think we all agree that her best position is as a central defender and that’s the plan, that she’s going to play there at Aston Villa.
“That will be really great for her development and hopefully her future at Arsenal.” As it stands, Arsenal have Jen Beattie and Viki Schnaderbeck out of contract in the summer, which could free up some room. Leah Williamson is also out of contract in the summer but I prefer not to think so much about that…
Arguably, it leaves Arsenal short in defence with Williamson still injured and Steph Catley unavailable due to the Asia Cup, however, to reiterate what we reported earlier on Friday, it is expected that the club will add another defender in the January transfer window with a deal close to completion.