Alessia Russo officially signs for Arsenal

Alessia Russo of England celebrates after the final whistle of the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Arsenal have officially confirmed the signing of Alessia Russo, bringing an end to the long-standing transfer rumour saga.

The 24-year-old England international forward joins the club on a permanent basis after her contract with Manchester United expired. Russo’s arrival is anticipated to boost Arsenal’s attacking power and provide a new generation of talent to the club.

“I think the growth of the women’s game has been incredible, but particularly at a club like Arsenal. The sell-out against Wolfsburg at Emirates Stadium last season was fantastic, and I’m just really excited to be part of this club,” Russo said following her move to the Arsenal.

A Youth Career Steeped in Promise

Russo’s football journey commenced during her youth career, where she honed her skills at Charlton Athletic and Chelsea. Her talent shone through, leading to her senior debut in the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup while playing for Chelsea in 2016. This early exposure to top-tier football laid the foundation for her future success.

Following her time at Chelsea, Russo’s career took her to Brighton and Hove Albion in 2017. It was at the south-coast club that she made her first appearance in the highly competitive Women’s Super League. This experience provided invaluable opportunities for growth, both on and off the pitch, and showcased Russo’s potential to thrive at the highest level.

In search of new challenges, Alessia Russo ventured across the Atlantic to the United States to join the North Carolina Tar Heels for college football. During her time there, she had the opportunity to line up alongside Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy. The experience of playing in a different footballing culture broadened Russo’s horizons and helped her refine her skills as she continued to develop as a player.

Impressive Stint at Manchester United and International Recognition

Returning to her home country in 2020, Alessia Russo signed with Manchester United. Over the course of three years with the club, she made a significant impact, scoring an impressive 26 goals in 59 appearances across all competitions. Her contributions were crucial to the team’s success and solidified her status as one of the Women’s Super League’s top forwards.

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Russo didn’t limit her exceptional performances to domestic competition. On the international stage, she represented England, earning 21 caps and netting 11 goals for the Lionesses. The pinnacle of her international career came in 2022 when she played a pivotal role in England’s victory at the UEFA Women’s European Championship. She epitomized her skill and finesse with a breathtaking backheel goal in the semi-final against Sweden, a strike that UEFA named Goal of the Tournament. This remarkable achievement also earned her a nomination for the prestigious FIFA Puskas Award.

A New Challenge with Arsenal

Expressing her excitement about joining Arsenal, Russo stated her eagerness to contribute to the team’s pursuit of trophies. She acknowledged the remarkable growth of women’s football, particularly at Arsenal, and emphasised her desire to grow as a player in the new environment. Russo’s hunger for success and determination to make a significant impact bodes well for her integration into the squad and the club’s future endeavours.

“I’m really excited to be here and I can’t wait to get going, I want to win trophies — as does everyone in this club. I can’t wait to get stuck in and grow as a player — it’s a new challenge and a new environment,” the Lioness said.

Head Coach Jonas Eidevall also expressed his delight at acquiring Russo’s signature, recognising her as one of the world’s best forwards. He highlighted her impressive goal-scoring record in the Women’s Super League and at the international level, indicating his belief in her potential for further growth and improvement. Similarly, Head of Women’s Football Clare Wheatley expressed her excitement at signing Russo, describing her as a talented footballer who aligns perfectly with the club’s vision.

Both coaches expressed confidence in Russo’s ability to elevate the team’s performance and take them to new heights.

“Alessia is one of the best forwards in the world and has significant potential to continue growing and improving,” Eidevall said. “She has a proven track record of scoring goals in the WSL and at international level and we believe she will be a quality addition to our forward line, so we’re all delighted to have brought her to the club.

Russo’s arrival at Arsenal marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the club. Russo, with her remarkable skills, goal-scoring prowess, and international experience, is poised to make a significant impact on the team’s forward line. Arsenal fans eagerly anticipate witnessing her contributions and the positive effect she will have on the club’s pursuit of domestic and international success.

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