No-brainer to join Arsenal says Catley

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

Steph Catley says it was a ‘no-brainer’ to sign for Arsenal Women ahead of the 2020-21 season.

The Australian defender, who has signed from Melbourne City, told Sky Sports: “Because I’ve played in America for so long, I’ve been there for around six or seven years, since I was 18. I feel like I have experienced everything I can in the American League and now I want to challenge myself at one of the best clubs in the world.

“England has gone from strength to strength in terms of its league and their national team in the last couple of years. For me it seemed like a bit of a no-brainer.

“There were a few [options], it was a time in my career where I made it clear I wanted a change. It wasn’t exactly easy, but for a few years now I’ve looked at Arsenal as a club I’ve wanted to play at. Everything aligned at this moment in time and I knew that is where I wanted to be.

“For a long time the US leagues have probably been seen as the best in women’s football, because of the depth of the teams and quality of the players who have gone there.

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“Everyone has been waiting for England to hit its stride and in the last year or so it has done. More and more players are going to want to come and play, England is the home of football and from my perspective it’s where every footballer wants to be playing.

“If you look at all of the English clubs, they are all making big signings. Some of the best female players in the world are looking to come here.

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“I look at the list that we have at Arsenal and I am flabbergasted by it. There are so many incredible players that will be pushing each other.”

Catley arrives in north London from Melbourne Victory and has also played for the Portland Thorns, OL Reign and Orlando Pride in North America.

She also went on to talk about the influence that fellow Australian Joe Montemurro had on the move.

Catley previously played under boss Montemurro at Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, adding: “Obviously, it came into it. I know how Joe likes his team to play and as a footballer I fit into that system. He likes to play attacking football and likes his teams to have a lot of possession while also being well-disciplined in defence.

“It’s the way I like to play football and it’s obviously nice to have a fellow Aussie when you are going somewhere brand new”.

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