Arsenal Women boss Jonas Eidevall admitted that it was a disappointment not to land a striker in the January transfer window. The Gunners brought in attacking midfielders Katherine Kuhl and Victoria Pelova, goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo and recalled Brazilian winger Gio from loan.
However, they tried to bring in various other forwards, including Debinha, Cloe Lacasse, Signe Bruun and made two world record bids for Manchester United’s Alessia Russo in the last 48 hours of the window. Eidevall admitted there was no hiding that it leaves his squad short for the remainder of the season.
“I think I was clear in the window that we needed another forward. We identified targets, I know the club worked hard, but it was very difficult transfer window, not to find players to want to join Arsenal but to find clubs that want to sell quality players in this window.
“That was very tricky, we were not successful, and of course we are disappointed with that. Now we have to look forward and make the best of the situation. I still have a squad with a lot of qualities, that I believe a lot in. We’re short in numbers, we know that, that can be a potential problem but we have to work together and do it as good as possible to reach our goals.
“Without going into detail on who our targets were, we searched globally for our players. Our discussions were on the global market, so it’s not a WSL thing. It was a very tricky window to find clubs that want to release players because it’s an immature transfer market where if they release a player they have a really hard time finding a replacement.
“We knew it would be tricky but it was harder than we thought. I think you can have results or excuses, I don’t think you can have both, I’m going to try and stick with results.”
Arseblog News asked Jonas Eidevall whether there were likely to be any morale issues within the squad, with Chelsea bidding for Katie McCabe in the final days of the window and well-sourced reports that Stina Blackstenius was offered to Manchester United in part-exchange for Russo on deadline day.
“No, not inside the club but I think like you’re saying, if people believe there is a general thing and people keep saying it then it becomes a thing. The Katie McCabe thing, there was no chance of that happening. That was a no brainer, no question, and that’s not only with our response to the bid but also with my conversations with the player. That was nothing.
“The reports of players going out, that’s nonsense. We were thinking about adding players, of course we’re not in a position to talk about losing players, especially top players in top positions.
“My role is not to be directly involved in transfers, other people do that bit, but of course when it comes to key decisions, if a player is going to come to us or if a player is going to leave us I’m very much involved and we were never ever at any point in this transfer window at a point of any other player leaving us than the ones that did.”
This is the second consecutive transfer window where Arsenal, by the manager’s admission, feel one player short of what they wanted. Arseblog News asked Jonas Eidevall whether an internal review was required on transfers.
“I think recruitment is key if you’re going to be a successful team. Last summer we got one player too little, and we did that again in January. So obviously there are things we need to look at in order to be better because over time these things have a big impact on how we perform and the ambitions we have.”
The Gunners play away at West Ham United at 6.45pm on Sunday, a full match preview will be available on the site on Saturday evening.