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Report: Arsenal Women to sign Steph Catley in the summer

There may be another Matilda at Arsenal

W-League Rd 2 - Canberra v Melbourne City Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

While the transfer window for the men’s first team closed tonight, the transfer window for Arsenal Women closed a week ago, with Arsenal only making one addition in Australia striker Caitlin Foord. There, is however, a chance that Foord may be joined by a second Matilda in the summer, with Steph Catley, a left back who plays her club football with Melbourne City and Reign FC, being linked with Arsenal.

Catley has played in the NWSL since 2014, playing with the Portland Thorns, Orlando Pride, and Reign FC. She has been at Melbourne City since the 2015-16 W-League season, having previously played at Melbourne Victory. She has been coached at both clubs by Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro, who would’ve managed Catley in 2014, and then again from 2015 to 2017, winning the Championship in 2015-16, with Kim Little and Jen Beattie also in the team.

Catley, speaking to the Herald Sun, acknowledged that she was looking for a move to European football, saying, “I’ll more than likely be in Europe the next transfer window. I haven’t signed anything, just been talking. England’s where I’m looking.” If Arsenal were to sign her, it may again involve negotiations with two different clubs, Melbourne City and Reign FC, with Catley adding that, “I’m still in negotiations. I was talking to my American club recently, genuinely I feel like it’s time for me.”

Catley, who turned 26 at the end of January, was Australia’s vice captain in the World Cup, and has played 77 times for the Matildas, featuring in their 2015 and 2019 World Cup and 2016 Olympics squad. She is an excellent left back, and having converted from central midfield, is technically very good on the ball. Arsenal have primarily utilized Katie McCabe at left back this season, meaning that McCabe hasn’t been able to play further forward or in central midfield. Although she has been very good at left back, McCabe, in a further forward role, was excellent for Arsenal last season. McCabe has been primarily backed up by Leonie Maier and Viki Schanderbeck, with Emma Mitchell allowed to go to Tottenham on loan and Katrine Veje out injured.