England record cap holder Fara Williams has left Arsenal to play for Reading Women, and may feel her time at Arsenal was wasted.
Williams leaves the London club with her reputation intact but her pride dented after failing to perform as well as she would have liked. The protracted timing of her signing was just a prelude of what was to come, with strong rumours starting as early as October 2015 of her signing to finally see it announced in January 2016.
With hindsight, the fact that the club released a home-grown player like Jade Bailey, who had been there for many years through the age groups at the club, to make way for a high-profile but low performing player is just puzzling and infuriating.
On her day, Fara Williams was a top class player, a two-footed player who could pick out a 40-yards pas, score from long-range and was brilliant at creating danger for the opposition in deep areas like Andrea Pirlo did late in his career.
Unfortunately, she rarely displayed that side of her game while at Arsenal. Williams did showcase such ability on a few occasions, such as in the FA Cup final against Chelsea, but I can count on two hands the number of good performances she has put in over a season-and-a-half.
I think external factors did not help her settling at the club, but the expectations for a player with a reputation as big as hers were not fulfilled. It therefore makes sense for Arsenal to let her go, with Dominique Janssen and Leah Williamson able to take the defensive-midfielder position.