After much speculation, Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Japanese forward Mana Iwabuchi.
The 28-year-old makes the move from Aston Villa, where she enjoyed a short-term spell last season. Iwabuchi signed for the Villains in December before joining the Women’s Super League side in January.
In what would prove to be a tough spell for Villa, Iwabuchi’s presence was crucial. Marcus Bignot’s side avoided the drop-zone by just three points. The forward’s goal against Spurs in January was a game-changer in their survival at the end of the campaign.
Iwabuchi made 13 appearances for the Villains, scoring two goals for the struggling side. On an international level, she has scored 31 times over 74 appearances since making her debut for the Japan.
The move has been rumoured for several weeks, with many Gunners seeing Iwabuchi as a natural progression for the team. Her signing comes soon after the announcement of Jill Roord’s departure.
It was reported the North Londoners were interested in the forward in 2019, however the pandemic affected the move. Iwabuchi will have several world-class attacking partners at Arsenal, including the likes of Vivianne Miedema.