Arsenal announce the signing of Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius. The 25-year-old striker joins the Gunners from Swedish top-flight club BK Häcken where she has netted 25 goals in 40 appearances.
Blackstenius is also a regular fixture in Sweden’s national team and has racked up 22 goals in 72 appearances, including the seven she tallied in last summer’s Olympic Games, in which Sweden placed second.
After a decline in performance over recent weeks, including last week’s shock two-nil defeat to Birmingham City, Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall has pinpointed the areas he believes Blackstenius will bolster.
“With Stina, especially when we see the way she has performed in the national team, it’s her ability to score goals in really big games. That is down to a lot of factors, but I think the main factor is that she is an excellent player at running in behind.
I think it’s a quality that we have missed in the squad. That ability to punish teams that are playing with such a high defending line, so she will help us with that.”
The arrival of Blackstenius, however, perhaps draws more answers than questions in regard to Vivianne Miedema’s future at the club once her contract ends in the summer.
For the time being, Eidevall was keen to share his tactical thoughts when asked if there is potential in seeing both Blackstenius and Miedema on the pitch at the same time.
“I hope there is, that’s one of the scenarios I’m seeing. But against some oppositions, when space gets limited in the initial phases of our possession, with a player like Viv it could be a good idea to have her playing a little bit deeper as a number 10 to get more on the ball and help us to create.
Then when we create, of course this is what we have been missing, there is no one inside the box to finish off the attack. So that’s definitely something I’m seeing as a possibility. Of course, they can also both play as a number 9.”
Eidevall could not comment on the direction Miedema may take come May, however he could not have been clearer in his view of how Blackstenius’ entrance may impact this.
“For me, the arrival of Stina has nothing to do about the future for Viv.”