The FA has decided that Notts County players are now free to sign for any English or foreign club where the transfer window is still open, so should Arsenal Ladies move for any of the players?
The short term answer is yes, a player like Laura Bassett who played for Arsenal a few seasons ago would be a short-term asset in a defence crippled with injuries, but it would prevent youngsters like Anna Patten and Lotte Wubben-Moy from growing and gaining valuable experience.
Considering there is nothing at stake for the Spring Series beside pride, it is much better to give the youngsters a chance rather than go for a short term fix.
Also, you would expect Birmingham City Ladies to have first dibs on Bassett as her boyfriend manages the club.
In term of squad space, Arsenal Ladies have 38 players registered with the FA, although one of them is now a student at LSU university in the USA, so there is space for three players in the squad right now.
Looking at the Notts County squad list, it is funny to note that they have many ex-Gunners: Laura Bassett, Bianca Bragg, Danielle Buet, Angharad James, Kirsty Linnett, and Josanne Potter.
I already mentioned Laura Bassett as a short-term problem-solving signing. In the longer term, having Angharad James and Kirsty Linnett back could be useful options, although it would mean less chances for the young midfielders, Anna Filbey, Laura Hooper or Chloe Brunton-Wilde, or for our up-and-coming centre forward, Rianna Dean.
Carly Telford, who is an excellent goalkeeper, would also be an asset to the team, as she is a fantastic player, but the club would then have three keepers, and it is not really a good thing to have so many players for that position unless a long-term injury occurs.
The other Notts County players are, in my opinion, not at the right standard for the Arsenal. Nor would they come with the potential to justify being signed. Some might also disrupt the dressing room with their attitude.
It is a very complex situation because the clubs have settled their squads when the transfer window closed a few weeks ago. Budgets are not extensible in general although you could bet that Arsenal would give the Ladies an extra £100,000 if needed unlike some other clubs.
There is also no doubt that deals for the next transfer window have been in the offing for six months if not more, and therefore some of Arsenals’ current needs will be addressed when the transfer window reopens in the summer.
You do have to wonder if the FA will give certain clubs a nudge, adding help from the PFA to ensure the four England players selected for the 2017 Euros have a chance to play club football and more or less force certain clubs to sign one or two of those four players.