Let's give a warm round of applause to Arsenal Ladies first signing of 2014, a player who's that makes me thankful for cut and paste, Anouk Hoogendijk. All jokes aside, the 28 year old defender is joining the Arsenal after spending one season with Ajax in the BeNe league and 94 caps for the Dutch national team.
Hoogendijk's signing makes Arsenal's strategy for next season rather apparent. All three of the Gunners latest signings have been on the back line. It seems that while Arsenal may not be able to score a plethora of goals this season, they are going to make it as hard as possible for other teams to find the back of the net against them. Its worth noting that Hoogendijk can also play midfield, so that adds a bit of depth and versatility that Arsenal needs.
With her previous club, Ajax, they placed fourth in the BeNe league. Considering the team was founded in 2012, its quite impressive that they've come in and performed so well so soon.
Internationally Hoogendijk has been a regular on the Dutch national team for quite some time now. Most recently Hoogendijk played in the 2013 EUROs. They didn't advance out of group play, but still had a pretty solid performance, Most importantly, despite their 0-2-1 record, Hoogendijk was a key part of a back line that allowed only two goals in those three games. Considering they held eventual EURO champs Germany to a 0-0 scoreline in their opening game that's a very good sign for Arsenal's back line.
Suring up the last line of defense is a good step for Arsenal. They do say defense wins championships. I expect a few more signings coming up to fill out the rest of the squad, and it seems that Arsenal could recover from their recent losses.