Following Jade Bailey’s departure to Chelsea, Arsenal Ladies have decided to send on loan Carla Humphrey to Doncaster Belles in order for her gain experience.
There is no doubt that it is the best outcome for Carla as her playing time would have probably been minimal due to the competition in the side for the forward places. Carla has a high potential, but the club did not seem to be able to find a place for her alongside the more senior players.
She was also consistently played out of position on either wing. She should really play as a second striker or as a playmaker. Arsenal Ladies play a 4-3-3 system, so there is actually no place in there for a second striker. A player like Vicky Losada was selected ahead of Carla in the playmaker position and it was a fair choice as the Spanish midfielder has a lot more experience.
Leah Williamson and Jordan Nobbs have also been preferred to her in a midfield three in an inverted triangle, with Jade Bailey or Dominique Janssen in the defensive midfield position and the other two players in the box-to-box role. Again, a very logical choice fitting a player in the system to her strength.
A player like Carla finds her efficiency in the short distance action i.e. in the central area of the pitch, 30 to 15 yards from the goal, where she can exploit her creativity to find some killer passes or closer to the goal where she can finish chances.
Her start to the season was really good and then was disrupted by her A-level studies that she successfully managed to pass thanks to her hard work and revision. As a youngster her performance level went up and down, which is usual at her age. So it makes sense to loan her especially if Jodie Taylor or any other forwards gets signed in the near future.
There is a huge question mark about girls on going on loan. Out of the twenty if not thirty odd players that went out the dozen seasons I have followed the Arsenal Ladies, only two players came back and stayed for a long period at the club: Rebecca Spencer and Jordan Nobbs.
So that’s another homegrown player gone now and you wonder if there will be more to follow soon. Why having a succesful youth team policy and then dump them when they are aged 18 to 20? This has been the same scheme for many years as the club was extremely successful for a decade and all the youngsters with potential ended up moving away.
Hopefully Carla will come back stronger from her loan and the club will be able to find her a place on the pitch.