With the FA WSL 1’s start a month away, the Arsenal Women’s squad is finally starting to look like a team that can challenge for a top-two finish.
There is still an unbalance between attack, midfield and defence, but the clear-out operated during the summer transfer window has left us with a good idea on Arsenal’s overall squad quality.
Sari Van Veenendaal, the recent crowned European champion, will be the number one choice and is backed up by Anna Moorhouse.
At right-back, Jessica Samuelsson should be the number one right-back, with Alex Scott providing cover.
At left-back, Emma Mitchell is first-choice, although the question remains about her fitness after her long term injury that happened in March at the Cyprus Cup. Taylor Hinds should deputise as the 18-year-old need to get tested at first-team level.
At centre-backs, Leah Williamson, Jemma Rose would be the expected first-choice pairing. Louise Quinn brings her experience and Vyan Sampson has a huge potential but we have no idea on her fitness following her latest operation a month ago.
In the holding role, Dominique Janssen is the only specialist in the position and is coming back from the European Championships as a winner with the Netherlands with Fara Williams moving away. Janssen should cement her place as a starter as a result.
In the box-to-box role, Jordan Nobbs is the only specialist for the position and a starter.
As for the playmakers, Kim Little is a world-class player but is currently sidelined with an ACL injury. Danielle Van De Donk, recently crowned European champion, did well during the tournament, so you would expect her start there while Little is out.
Right-winger Heather O’Reilly, the US veteran with excellent work rate and technical skills will compete with the newcomer and Scottish player Lisa Evans. It should be a healthy battle for a starting spot.
On the left, Danielle Carter could feature, although she is a natural centre forward. Manager Pedro Losa likes to play her on the wing and she does a great job there.
Striker Jodie Taylor won the Golden Boot at the Euros and should claim the starting spot, although Anna Miedema, who won the tournament and the Silver Boot, might disagree.
Not forgetting Beth Mead who will have to work cut out to get the lone striker role ahead of the aforementioned duo.
There is no doubt that 20 healthy players is enough to compete in the FA WSL, especially as a number of youngsters from the Development Team can be brought up if needed. The fact that many players can also play in three or four positions also helps.
But with the current injury situation, expect a couple of signings before the transfer windows closes in mid September, with at least one defender like to be brought in.