Stina Blackstenius opens up about the no.9 role and Alessia Russo in the Arsenal Women squad

Swedish international, Stina Blackstenius, joined Arsenal Women in January 2022. The 28 year old, who just celebrated her birthday this week, started in 20 of 22 WSL games in the 2022-23 season.

Stina was particularly called upon last season, due to the devasting number of injuries that Arsenal Women faced. With the loss of Arsenal’s top goalscorers, Beth Mead & Vivianne Miedema, to ACL injuries in the first half of the season, our Gunners needed a goalscorer, and Blackstenius stepped up.

However, this 2023-24 season, Stina has seen a significant drop in her game time, where she  has started in only 2 games and featured in 11 overall.

The biggest reason behind Stina’s drop in game time this season, is the arrival of England international Alessia Russo, from Manchester United, in the summer transfer window. Russo has started in all 12 WSL games this season so far, in the No 9 role – which is Blackstenius’ preferred position.

Speaking to SkySports the Swede believes she is still able to contribute to the team, having contributed with 4 WSL goals and numerous goals in cup games – including scoring a hat-trick  in Arsenal’s 6-0 win against Reading.

“It’s been quite challenging sometimes because you want to play as much as you can. But you also need to accept that we have such a strong squad, it’s so competitive and you really need to be at your best to play.” Blackstenius said.

“When I’m coming into games, I can use my qualities in a good way, and that could give me chances to score. I feel like in some games, that has been good for me

“I enjoy being with so many good players in our team and Alessia is one of them,”

“She can give something to our way of play, she can bring her qualities. She’s so confident with the ball and without it and she helps us to win games. It’s been good being with her in training and she’s such a good person as well.

“I try to take every training with the girls to use it for something good because I don’t know if I can be in a better environment than I am now.”

I, for one, love seeing Blackstenius let loose on the pitch for our Gunners. What about you?


Michelle Maxwell

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