Arsenal Women complete Catley signing

England Women's Beth Mead and Australia Women's Steph Catley (right) battle for the ball during a fr

England Women's Beth Mead and Australia Women's Steph Catley (right) battle for the ball during a friendly at Craven Cottage in 2018 - Credit: PA

Arsenal Women have completed their first summer signing as Australian international Steph Catley joins from Melbourne City.

The 26-year-old defender was announced as an Arsenal player on Thursday morning and it was greeted with excitement by supporters as she is regarded as one of the best players in the world in her position.

Catley, who plays as a full-back, joins Arsenal having won the W-League Championship five times and W-League Premiership twice, in addition to being named W-League Young Player of the Year and FFA U-20 Footballer of the Year twice.

Having played under Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro at Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, Catley knows the Arsenal boss and his style of management well.

Current UEFA Women’s Champions holders Lyon were also interested in signing Catley, but the connection with Montemurro played a huge part in the deal getting over the line.

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She started her career at Melbourne Victory and has since gone on to play for American sides Portland Thorns, Orlando Pride and OL Reign in the NWSL.

The Australian international started and played 33 matches for OL Reign, including the 2018 and 2019 NWSL semi-finals and also recorded five assists in 2,949 minutes of play across all competitions.

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On the international stage Catley is vice-captain of the Matildas and has played 82 times, scoring three goal,s since making her debut at just 18 years of age.

Speaking to about her move to Europe she said: “This is something that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

“Arsenal is a place where I’ve imagined myself playing for a long time too.

“I’m so excited that it’s finally done. This will be my first taste of European football and obviously there’s so much to look forward to and so many big occasions to come. I can’t wait to get started.”

Montemurro was delighted to get the deal done, adding: “We’re privileged to have Steph at the club. She suits our fluidity and she’s very good in a positional sense, but more importantly she’s very effective going forwards.

“We’re excited to have her as part of the squad and we’re looking forward to some exciting times together!”

Catley links up with Australian international teammate Caitlin Foord at Meadow Park.

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