Arsenal Ladies midfielder keen to play alongside new signing in Japan tournament
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Jordan Nobbs is relishing the opportunity to link up with new signing Lianne Sanderson when Arsenal head to Japan for the International Women’s Club Championship.
England striker Sanderson, who has just rejoined the club from Boston Breakers, is expected to make her second Gunners debut during the trip to Japan next week.
Both players featured for the national team in Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Germany at Wembley Stadium and midfielder Nobbs is confident that Arsenal will quickly feel the benefits of Sanderson’s return.
“I think it’s something that Arsenal need at the moment,” said Nobbs. “I’ve worked with Lianne for England and she’s a great player of top quality.
“She can hold the ball up and, as a midfielder, that’s great for me. Having a player of her quality come in will only push the rest of us and keep us sharp, and this trip will be a nice introduction.
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“The club have won a lot of trophies in the past and we’re hungry to win more next year. I’m sure Lianne’s going to be a big part of the club and help us to success.”
The Gunners squad will be the only English representatives in a tournament that includes top opposition from around the world.
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Two Japanese teams – Urawa Red Diamonds and Okayama Yunogo Belle – are taking part, along with Copa Libertadores title holders São José, Australian champions Melbourne Victory and another Asian side yet to be confirmed.
Nobbs – who was part of the Arsenal Ladies squad that previously toured Japan in 2011 – feels the trip will be as much about team bonding under new manager Pedro Martinez Losa as anything else.
Losa took charge for the Gunners’ last three games in the Women’s Super League and also the Continental Cup final, which they lost to Manchester City.
“It was disappointing that we didn’t win the final,” added Nobbs. “I thought we played well but we weren’t clinical enough.
“It’ll help us to have a few more games under our belts. We know we’re going to come up against some very hard teams and it’s important to learn from them and try to do well in the tournament.
“I think it’s good for the squad to spend time together, training and just being around each other, especially after we had so many changes at the club last year.
“Japan was amazing last time we went – it’s a unique country and you don’t get too many opportunities to experience the culture. Everyone’s looking forward to it.”
Arsenal’s squad will include two members of Japan’s 2011 World Cup-winning team, striker Shinobu Ohno and defender Yukari Kinga.