Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall is delighted to have tied down Katie McCabe to a new contract. The Irish international inked terms on a new deal which was announced on Friday and Eidevall described her as a world class performer.
“It has been really nice for us to see how we have been able to secure our top talent to stay here. Katie had an amazing season last season.
“She shows her personality but even more importantly she shows her quality as a football player. When she gets the right line between playing with the right amount of aggression and the right amount of cleverness she is a world class player.
“She gets that balance right more often than not.” Eidevall said that Beth Mead should be in the match day squad for Sunday’s WSL opener against Liverpool with a chance to play her first minutes since rupturing her ACL in November last year.
“She has returned to full training with us which is really, really good, which means she can be in match day squads. Very soon, maybe even at the weekend, being able to play minutes.
“We still have one more training session to do but she is getting very, very close.” When pressed on whether she will play any part on Sunday, Eidevall said, ‘If ‘may’ is clarifying, then yes. She may.”
A player in line for her WSL debut this weekend is Alessia Russo, signed from Manchester United this summer. Eidevall says he is excited about what she can bring to the squad this season.
“We could see at the World Cup the qualities she can give us, that adds quality and depth to our squad. I am really excited to see her playing with us.”
The game will be played in front of what could be a record WSL crowd with 51,000 tickets sold as of Friday. Eidevall said such attendance figures becoming commonplace demonstrates the growth of women’s football.
“When I talk about momentum at Arsenal, regularly bringing in massive audiences to Emirates Stadium is a massive part of that. It is part of our long-term plan to move more games to the stadium.
“We want it to be like Wolfsburg and be sold out consistently, we are moving away from the idea that it’s a one-off to sell out the big stadium. What we want for the sustainability and growth is the consistency of selling out the big stadiums.
“That is the next step in women’s football and in the WSL. That is why it is pleasing to see more clubs putting more games in the bigger stadiums and investing in the advertising to get more people at the games too.”