Arsenal have completed the signing of Swedish international forward Stina Blackstenius and it comes at a crucial time for the Gunners ahead of the second half of the WSL and Champions League season.
Blackstenius is a World Cup bronze medalist and two-time Olympic silver medalist, at the same time as she has proven herself at club level in recent seasons with Linköping, Montpellier and Hacken.
The 25-year-old played with the latter in the Champions League group stage earlier this season and now has the chance to play against a more profiled club in the final stage of the competition.
Manchester United were initially expected to secure Blackstenius’ signature when her contract with Hacken expired at the end of December. Tottenham and even Chelsea were thought to be keeping an eye on the situation, but United missed when Arsenal’s interest became serious.
“We are happy to have written on Stina,” said manager Jonas Eidevall when the deal was announced.
“She is a world-class talent who will add even more quality to our team. Her game is well adapted to the style we implement here at Arsenal, and I am convinced she will take her game to an even higher level here. at our place.”
Given that the Gunners, who still have a chance to compete for four trophies in 2022, started fighting and faltering in November and December, the upswing has come at a fantastic time.
Arsenal got off to a great start to the campaign, catching on to Chelsea during the opening weekend and continuing to win eight of their first nine league games. But now Eidevall’s team has lost four of its last five matches in all competitions since then and first began to show signs of weakness in a north London derby two months ago where they only barely avoided a loss.
The effect of a truncated pre-season after the Olympics seems to be felt – Vivianne Miedema has been left out of the team for rest on several occasions, with Leah Williamson’s absence in the back has also seen some stability lost.
Blackstenius’ arrival will not only give fresh quality and depth to the front, where the summer recruit Nikita Parris has not yet met his previous best since returning to English football from France, but strengthen the morale of the entire squad for a few crucial months ahead.
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