Arsenal Women have signed the centre back Rafaelle Souza. Rafaelle, 30, is a Brazilian international, who started for Brazil at the Olympics. Rafaelle joins the club after her contract with Chinese side Changchun Zhuoyue expired, but she spent last season on loan at Palmeiras. Previously, Rafaelle played for Houston Dash in 2014, and played collegiately for Ole Miss.
Rafaelle is left footed, giving Arsenal balance at the back, with all of the other centre backs at the club being right footed. Having that balance in defence has been something Jonas Eidevall has been seeking, leading to him at one point playing left back Steph Catley in central defence.
Rafaelle is good on the ball, and strong in the air. She is the first Brazilian to play for Arsenal Women, and speaking to Arsenal.com, she said, “I feel great to be here and to be playing in such a strong and competitive league. I feel like when I decided to come here, I was looking for a club where I can show my football and show my skills and be in the centre of the world.”
Jonas Eidevall, speaking to Arsenal Media, said “Her international experience, technical ability and leadership qualities make her an important signing for us – I’m looking forward to working with her and I’m sure the Arsenal fans are excited to see her in action.”
Arsenal have made three signings this window, with Rafaelle, Laua Wienroither, and Stina Blackstenius all joining the club.