Will Jonas bring Brazilian Gio back to strengthen Arsenal Women’s frontline armoury? by Michelle
Beth Mead ruptured her ACL during Saturday’s 2-3 win by Manchester United at Emirates Stadium. It is a major blow for Beth, whose recovery in time for next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup is in serious doubt. It’s also a huge blow for Arsenal to lose one of their best attackers.
Mead is nearly always in Arsenal’s starting X1 and is critical to Jonas Eidevall’s pressing game, being one of the best pressing forwards in football.
Just what are Arsenal’s options in her absence?
Lina Hurtig, who signed for Arsenal this summer would be the obvious answer but Lina is currently out with an injury, with no return date known as yet. Once recovered, we would expect Hurtig to play a much bigger role for Arsenal, much more regularly, for the rest of this season.
Jonas said of Hurtig, after she bagged her first 2 goals for Arsenal when they beat Zurich 3-1 at Emirates Yes, very pleased for her. You can see, especially on that first goal some of her qualities. There are not many players in Europe who have that height in the jump and that much control over her body when she is doing it. I think these goals are important for her self-confidence. As a wide-forward, she produces a lot of goals and assists but maybe in a slightly different way to our other wide forwards. Lina’s highs are very high so it is important to get that consistency so she believes in those high moments and reproduces them all the time.
Arsenal also signed 19 year old Brazilian international Gio Queiroz this summer, from Barcelona, taking charge of one of the most sought-after teenage talents in women’s football. Arsenal immediately put Gio on loan to Everton.
Gio hasn’t had much play time at Everton, only making her debut for the club in November.
At international level, Gio was part of the Brazil team that won the 2022 Copa America title – alongside Arsenal’s centre-back Rafaelle Souza (who is also currently out with injury).
Gio said, on signing for Arsenal, I’m very excited. I know Arsenal is a great club – it’s one of the best clubs in Europe. All of the players here are very competitive and have a lot of experience, so I’m excited to learn from them and develop. Arsenal is a club that belongs at the top and with hard work we can make sure we are there.
Head Coach Jonas Eidevall added: We’re delighted to have completed this transfer. Gio is an exciting prospect and we believe she has great potential. We will closely monitor her development this season and look forward to watching her progress.
We have been monitoring Gio for some time and are delighted to have brought her to Arsenal, said Head of Women’s Football Clare Wheatley. She will now spend time on loan in order to continue her progression and adapt to English football. We are confident that her time on loan will provide her with valuable experience at this stage in her development.
So, is it time for Jonas to bring her back? When players are loaned out for a year, there is usually a mid-way clause meaning it should not be too difficult to negotiate her return.
What do you think? Jonas and his squad can’t keep running on an empty tank.. 6 players out with injury is equivalent to losing over 30% of his team. With young players such as Gio waiting in the wings, now might just be a pertinent time invite them back into the Arsenal Armoury?
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