Arsenal coach Jonas Eidevall says that Rafaelle Souza’s left footedness was a key factor in her signing. The Brazilian international signed for the club today.
Rafaelle is left-footed which is a key detail given that the other centre-halves, Jen Beattie, Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Anna Patten (on loan at Aston Villa) and Simone Boye are all right-footed.
Arseblog News spoke to Eidevall about the signing in his pre Manchester United press conference and he said there were a few factors that drove the signing of the 30-year-old.
“For me it was a big to find a left-footed central defender because it helps a lot with the angles building up, especially when teams press you a little bit higher so to have a really good left footer in the build-up helps a lot with that.
“That alone is not enough, you need to be a good defender. From a communications perspective when I started to study Rafa, I know communication can take a little bit of time with the language.
Just look at what it means to @Rafaelleleone 🥰
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) January 18, 2022
“But Rafa studied in the US and playing in the NWSL as well so her English is much better than mine is! So that was definitely not a problem and it helped, for me, that she has Swedish coaches in the Brazilian national team.
“The head coach (Pia Sundhage) and the assistant coaches are Swedish and they work with positional principles in defence that are very similar to the ones we have with Arsenal.
“That helped me a lot to see her in that context to see that she understands and can excel in those situations. I am very happy to add her here and I am very excited to work with her.”
The signing means the Gunners have added three new players to their ranks during the January transfer window with Swedish striker Stina Blackstenius and Austrian full-back Laura Wienroither also added to the squad.
Arseblog News asked Jonas Eidevall whether that concludes Arsenal’s business for this window, “I would imagine so, yes. You know it’s football but sincerely I think we are finished. From experience I don’t know for sure until it’s closed.”