Arsenal Women’s captain, Kim Little, will spend the summer on loan at NWSL club OL Reign (formerly Seattle Reign). Little will officially join the club on June 1, but will be available from June 18, before returning to Arsenal on August 15 for pre-season. OL Reign are currently 9th in the NWSL. They will play eight games while Little is stateside.
This will allow Little, who played for the Reign from 2014-2016, to maintain a level of fitness. But it may also point to a diminishing role at Arsenal. Little played every game for Arsenal last season, starting 21 of 22 league games. Yet Little didn’t register an assist in the league last season, and in the second half the season, Lia Wälti became more prominent in Arsenal’s midfield, especially as Arsenal switched to more of a double pivot, and Little dropped deeper, with Vivianne Miedema taking over as a number 10. Jonas Eidevall really likes Frida Maanum as a midfielder, and Maanum’s natural role would be as a #8, the position Little plays.
That could also pave the way for a natural change in Arsenal’s on pitch leadership. Leah Williamson, who signed a new contract in January, has taken the armband on multiple occasions when Little has been off the pitch, despite Lia Wälti and Jordan Nobbs technically being vice-captains. Williamson is also the England captain, and is likely to be the Arsenal captain in the future.