Arsenal Women boss Eidevall confirms return of Williamson & Souza, ready for Everton clash

Arsenal Women boss Eidevall confirms return of Leah Williamson & Rafaelle Souza, ready for Everton clash By Michelle

Jonas Eidevall held his pre-match press conference today ahead of Arsenal’s WSL match against Everton on Saturday at Meadow Park, kick-off 2pm UK.

Arsenal have been devastated by injuries over recent weeks, Eidevall being reduced to a choice of 15 first team players after Beth Mead’s ACL injury.  Eidevall discussed player returns from injury, with some very exciting news!

Good news on the injury front?

Yeah, it’s been good.  We have Leah and Rafa, who are able to go back into the matchday squad here tomorrow, so that’s obviously pleasing for us.  We’re starting to get players back from injuries and improving numbers again in the squad, so looking forward to that.

Will Leah and Rafa will both start tomorrow?

They’re in the matchday squad.  So starting XI, everyone will know tomorrow.

How much of a boost does their return have on the squad?

When I see us practice and these two players come into our environment, I think it helps us a lot because we get two more players of very high quality into our environment, into our way of playing and of course that will boost any team and it certainly does for us.

Have the pair’s leadership qualities changed the squad dynamic?

I think when you see a player like Leah coming into the environment, you can definitely see what qualities she will bring both on and off the ball and with her leadership. Absolutely. It’s the same with Rafa – it’s two quality players.

Rafaelle Souza suffered from an injury to a metatarsal bone in her foot in early October, when Arsenal beat Ajax 1-2 securing their place in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Rafaelle, captain of the Brazilian Women’s squad also had to withdraw from international duties.  Leah went down with a similar injury shortly after Rafaelle, also being forced to withdraw from the England Women’s squad, of which she is captain.

Both players have been sorely missed over the last two months.  Jonas’ announcement on their return to the matchday squad is music to our ears!

When asked about Lina Hurtig’s return, Jonas said She’s progressing well just like Kim Little is, but they’re not ready to be in a matchday squad. She’ll hopefully return before Christmas which is great news for the attacking frontline choices..

Interview & photo courtesy of Arsenal.

It definitely sounds like there’s light at the end of the tunnel on Arsenal’s injury woes..

We can’t wait for tomorrow’s match against Everton.  It will be great to see these two super heroes back on the pitch, even if Jonas only re-introduces them on a piecemeal basis.

How exciting is this news?

Michelle Maxwell

Follow Michelle on Just Gooner Women on Twitter for regular updates on the Arsenal Women’s Team!

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