Arsenal Women beat WSL rivals to sign Sweden star striker and Ballon d’Or nominee Stina Blackstenius… and boss Jonas Eidevall insists deal does not impact Vivianne Miedema’s future
- Arsenal Women have signed striker and Ballon d’Or nominee Stina Blackstenius
- Blackstenius scored 17 goals last season for FC Hacken in the Swedish league
- Gunners boss Jonas Eidevall said the deal has no impact on Vivianne Miedema
Arsenal Women have completed the signing of highly rated Sweden international Stina Blackstenius.
The 25-year-old striker, who netted 17 goals and eight assists in the Swedish league last season, was out of contract after leaving BK Hacken this week.
The Gunners held off competition from Manchester United, who had tracked Blackstenius since the summer, and Tottenham.
Arsenal Women have unveiled the signing of Sweden international striker Stina Blackstenius
Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall hailed Ballon d’Or nominee Blackstenius as ‘excellent player’
Blackstenius, a Ballon d’Or nominee, also scored five goals at the Tokyo Olympics to help her country win silver.
‘It feels amazing to be here,’ Blackstenius said. ‘I’m so happy to join such a big and great club like Arsenal.
‘I got a really good first impression about this club, they play really good football and I wanted to be a part of that. I feel like I can become a better player in this environment.’
Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall said a key reason for signing the striker was her big-game mentality. ‘A standout for Stina, especially when you see the way she has performed in the national team, is her ability to score goals in really, really big games.
Blackstenius stood out at the Tokyo Olympics, scoring five goals to help Sweden take silver
‘That is down to obviously a lot of factors but I think maybe the main factor is she is an excellent player running in behind when she is exposed to a lot of space.
‘For example the games that we played against Barcelona, I think that we really missed that quality in the squad, to punish teams that are playing with such a high defending line. She will be helping us with that as well.’
Eidevall added that Blackstenius’ arrival will not have an impact on Vivianne Miedema’s future at the club. Miedema is out of contract at the end of the season and has interest from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
Asked whether there’s a way for Miedema and Blackstenius to play together, Eidevall said: ‘I hope there is, that’s definitely one of the scenarios that I’m seeing. Some oppositions, maybe even a game like Birmingham last Sunday, when space gets limited in the initial phases of our possession, a player like Viv, it could be a good idea to have her a little bit deeper, maybe playing as a 10 to help us get on the ball and create.
Eidevall said Blackstenius’ arrival ‘has nothing to do’ with Vivianne Miedema’s Arsenal future
‘Then of course, when we create, and that’s what we were missing against Birmingham on Sunday, we have no one inside the box, we can’t finish off the attack.
‘For me, the arrival of Stina has nothing to do about the future for Viv. To sign Stina, to make her an addition to the squad, I think it’s the right way to go. In any of the scenarios, if Viv is staying, which we hope she will, or if she’s not staying, then we will need to go out and find a replacement for her and for that type of player as well.
‘We’re looking at the scenario where they can play together but also that they can play at different times and that depends a lot on how we set up the team.’
The Arsenal boss also teased that there will be more arrivals at the club before the end of January.
‘We’re not done yet in this window,’ he said. ‘We can reveal it when it’s all done. Hopefully in the near future we can give you guys some more news.’
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