Leonie Maier announces Arsenal departure

Arsenal's Leonie Maier is challenged by Birmingham's Jamie-Lee Napier during the FA Women's Super Le

Arsenal's Leonie Maier is challenged by Birmingham's Jamie-Lee Napier during the FA Women's Super League match at the SportNation.bet Stadium, Solihull. Picture date: Sunday March 7, 2021. - Credit: PA

Leonie Maier has announced she is leaving Arsenal with her contract expiring this summer.

The German international right-back confirmed the news on her Instagram account on Tuesday afternoon.

"Thank you for everything and for an unforgettable time! I will leave Arsenal, I am thankful and happy that I was part of this amazing club.

"I have had a really good time and have met so many great people and it was a pleasure to work with so many talented players.

"Also a big thank you to the coaches,the staff and the fans who always backed us no matter what.

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“I wish the whole team all the best for the future and I am going to miss you, but all the nice memories will always stay in my mind.”

Maier played 12 matches in the Women's Super League in 2020-21 but only started six of them as she failed to really nail down a starting spot since her move from Bayern Munich. 

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Maier signed on a two year deal from the German giants Bayern Munich in 2019 and made 25 appearances in total across her two campaigns albeit one cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

She made her final appearance for the Gunners on Sunday in the FA Cup against Crystal Palace as the Gunners won 9-0.

Maier was nominated for the German player of the year for 2020 after playing in four Euro 2022 qualification games for her country, helping them keep three clean sheets, and she also found the back of the net on one occasion. 

It Is not yet known what is next for the full-back in terms of what club she is going to. 

With Arsenal already having a number of good right-back options with Noelle Maritz, Lisa Evans and Anna Patten it's not expected that the Gunners will replace Maier. 

Meanwhile, Netherlands international midfielder Danielle van de Donk is being linked with a move away from Meadow Park to French side Lyon. 

Arsenal's Danielle Van de Donk (right) and West Ham United's Hawa Cissoko battle for the ball during

Arsenal's Danielle Van de Donk (right) and West Ham United's Hawa Cissoko battle for the ball during the FA Women's Super League match at Meadow Park, Borehamwood. Picture date: Wednesday April 28, 2021. - Credit: PA

French news outlet L'Équipe are reporting that the Arsenal midfielder is on her way to France ahead of the 2021-22 season. 

They are also reporting that she has rejected a contract extension at the Gunners as she made 21 Women's Super League appearances for the club in 2020-21 scoring two goals and regeristing two assists, she also netted in the FA Cup games against Gillingham and Crystal Palace 

However van de Donk played in a deeper role during the season and that was a clear frustration for the Arsenal number 7. 

van de Donk has won 112 caps for her country and was part of the squad that won Euro 2017 and was runner up to the USA at the 2019 Women's World Cup. 

Four players are expected to leave Arsenal in total with two confirmed in the form of Jill Roord and Maier with van de Donk and Malin Gut who has an injury also expected to leave. 

Gut who suffered an ACL injury in training last week is expected to return to Switzerland and Grasshopper Zurich. 

Roord has already completed her move to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg after she scored on her final Arsenal appearance against Crystal Palace on Sunday. 

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