Anna Patten says it was an 'easy decision' to return to Arsenal

As part of the SSE Next Generation Programme, Arsenal Ladies' Anna Patten tried her hand at curling.

As part of the SSE Next Generation Programme, Arsenal Ladies' Anna Patten tried her hand at curling. Picture: SPORTSBEAT - Credit: Archant

Anna Patten said it was "quite an easy decision" to return to Arsenal after returning following four years of playing in the USA.

Patten made her first team debut in 2016 during the spring series playing every one of those fixtures that year before moving to University in South Carolina and also spending time at Florida state. 

Speaking to about her move back to London she said: "It was quite an easy decision, to return home back to Arsenal if I'm honest.

"The team is full of quality and I couldn't wait to be back. For me, my time had to come to leave America.

"I'd graduated so it felt right to come back and most of all to come back to Arsenal to be back and be able to sign for the team really is like a dream come true.

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"It's a funny thing because ever since I've left really, I've been coming back, and joining the team in training whenever I could.

"When I'd come home for Christmas or the odd summer, I was able to join the team for training sessions. I feel like I've always been attached to the Arsenal family.

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"When I was back during lockdown, it was then that I heard about the interest to re-sign me and obviously I was so excited about that.

"Then I went back to America, finished off my degree, finished off my season, and from there the conversations kept going. I was so excited to hear they were still interested in signing me."

During her time in America, Patten was named Boilermaker Challenge Cup Defensive Most Valuable player after clean sheets against Purdue and DePaul. She picked up two SEC Defensive Player of the Week awards and was included in the SEC Watch List as well as the All-SEC First Team at the 2020 awards.

On going to America in the first place, leaving Arsenal, Patten said: "It's so hard to put it down to one thing but I've grown in confidence, I've grown physically as well.

"They're very big on that over in America, so I feel really ready now to compete with professionals - much more so than when I did before I left England.

"I'm definitely ready to compete and prove myself now with the pros."

Patten is good friends with fellow Arsenal star Lotte Wubben-Moy and on them reuniting at the club the 21-year-old said: "It was hard to leave America because it was such an amazing experience out there, especially with all the people that I formed so many good relationships with.

"It's hard saying goodbye to that but I think my time had come and I was so proud of everything I achieved out there.

"It was bittersweet because it had come to an end, but it's so exciting to now take the next step in my career and return home.

"I think Lotte and I always kind of had that idea of coming back here, both of us. We're big Arsenal fans and we've been playing together since we were so young.

"I was so happy for her when she made the decision to come back to Arsenal, and deep down we were both delighted because I think she knew that I would probably come back to Arsenal as well.

"It's an exciting time to be back and to be able to train with her again."

Patten also went to praise Gunners captain Kim Little and is looking forward to linking up with her once again saying: "I trained a bit with Kim before I left but she was obviously injured during that time, so I think she's definitely a player I'm so excited to play against.

"It's pretty hard to do that, obviously, because it feels like the ball is actually glued to her foot. It's so hard to defend against her but not only that, she's such a professional and an amazing player. I'm so excited to train with her.

"Then of course I've got to say Vivianne Miedema as well because she's just the best defending against her in training is definitely going to be a challenge.

"It's so exciting and also at points may be a little bit embarrassing if she drops me once or twice in training.

"I can't wait to train with all the amazing players at Arsenal and I really hope it will help me to raise my standard."

Patten is an Arsenal supporter and when she was in the States admitted she watched the women's games.

"I had to be supporting from wherever I was over there," she said.

"I have always been watching and cheering on the girls in my own way.

"Arsenal love to play, and love to play out from the back as well.

"That's a big part of how I like to play football as well I've always been someone who likes to get on the ball, pass it, create chances from the back.

"You can see that in the way Arsenal play right now. Even when they're put under lots of pressure, the aim is still to play out from the back.

"I think that's a really big part of my game as well. I'm glad to be joining a team that suits my strengths."

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