Arsenal Women continue to move forward after key departures at the club when they confirmed the signing of England international Nikita Parris from Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.
“I want to achieve all domestic titles and compete in the Champions League here. I’m happy to be back in the WSL which has grown and improved so much since I left.”
🤝 | Nikita Parris has joined Arsenal from French side Lyon.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 2, 2021
The former Manchester City standout and product of Everton joined for a club-record fee and returns to an ever-improving Women’s Super League where she remains one of its all-time leading goal-scorers with 49-goals to her name.
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Spell in France to make Parris vital to Arsenal progression
After a move to France with women’s giants OL Féminin where she would help the club win four trophies including the Champions League in 2019-20, the FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2019 returns to an Arsenal outfit that has lost influential manager Joe Montemurro (now manager at Juventus’ women’s side) and gifted Dutch international Danielle van de Donk who went in the other direction to Lyon.
In the last four years, Arsenal has won the WSL just once, with Chelsea cementing themselves as the perennial domestic powerhouse after winning three of the last four league titles on offer. Parris’ experience at a club that has sent the gold standard of women’s football in Europe will be invaluable as the club look to move forward under new manager Jonas Eidevall. Eidevall went on to comment on his delight with the signing:
“I’m very pleased to have signed Nikita and add to our strong strike force. She is a talented player and has a winners mentality and I’m looking forward to working with her once she returns from the Olympics.”
That same admiration for Parris’s winner’s mentality has also been echoed by former England women’s head coach Phil Neville who simply described her as “world-class,” while teammates have labeled her as having “exceptional gifts framed by a fierce determination and a maturity.” Such qualities will undoubtedly help push Arsenal back in with a shout of hunting down both Chelsea and Manchester City.
Parris joins an Arsenal outfit chock-full of attacking options despite the departure of Van De Donk this summer. A dynamic partnership with the sensational Vivianne Miedema will leave supporters with a mouthwatering proposition. Parris will come into direct competition with Beth Mead for the starting right wing birth, while the likes of Caitlin Foord, fellow new signing Mana Iwabuchi, Katie McCabe, and Lisa Evans, all can be deployed out wide.
Competition for places will surely not deter Parris from pushing to reestablish herself in the elite tier of WSL players on offer, and if her track record of goals at every level is anything to go by, Arsenal Women Football Club should be ready to make a real push in 2021-22.
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