Arsenal have announced the immense signing of Tabea Kemme even though she is currently sidelined until the end of 2018 with a knee injury.
Arsenal made the announcement on Wednesday, following on from the signing of Lia Walti who played alongside Kemme for five years in Germany and cheap Arsenal tickets are now likely to be snapped up quickly to watch Joe Montemurro’s side line up next season.
Back in May, when Arsenal announced the signing of Viktoria Schnaderbeck, we reported that Arsenal were expected to sign at least another two players from Germany with deals for Kemme and Walti already agreed.
Kemme arrives after 12 years with Turbine Potsdam where she made 140 appearances, winning the UEFA Women’s Champions League and the Frauen-Bundesliga four times in a row between 2009 and 2012.
“On the pitch, she’s a beast,” Walti told Arsenal Player about Kemme. “That’s the word. Physically she’s really, really good and nobody likes to play against her.
“In a one against one, she has the ball or she has the other player with a foul, she’s a really physical player who’s always fighting until the end. She never gives up and that’s what her strength is.
“Off the pitch, she is a calm person who is calm, who listens first and talks later. She’s a person who always stays positive. Even now, when she’s had a big injury, she always stays positive every day and I think that’s why she always reaches her goals, because she always stays calm and positive in every situation in life.
“I also know Lisa and she told me about the training, the area and how perfect it is, about the team and that she thought I was a good player to come here, that she hoped I would join. She said they had a really good coach, a new coach, and was just saying positive things so that I would take the decision to come here.
“Knowing her at the beginning can help a lot. Lisa and Viv can show us a lot about the club, a lot about London or about the country. That will help a lot and of course it’s a help for me to have players here like Viki who I’ve known for two or three years and also Tabea, because when you’re new you always want to have some friends in the team.
“Maybe it’s harder to come here alone or know nobody than it is for me now. I’m happy that I know almost three or four players here and I’m looking forward to spending more time with them.”
Kemme is also a full German international, having represented her country since youth level, including at the Olympics where she won gold in 2016.
Hailed as one of the most ‘versatile players in the world’, Kemme started her career as a forward before dropping back on the pitch.
Joe Montemurro said: “Tabea brings a wealth of experience to the squad. She knows first-hand what it takes to be successful in Europe and the Women’s Champions League, and we will benefit from her knowledge.”
“It feels good to be an Arsenal player,” Kemme told Arsenal Player. “It’s a great feeling. I played for 12 years in Potsdam and now I’m ready for the next step, the next challenge, my new adventure here at Arsenal.
“It doesn’t matter for me [which position I play]. It’s important for me to stay on the pitch where I can help the team make good progress in the league. I’m flexible, so it’s the decision of the coach where I will play.
“I met him in January and we talked about Arsenal, how they want to play, and he said, ‘OK, we want to play offensive’ and that’s exactly my thing. Of course we did the same thing at Potsdam so I know the playing style. He also said he didn’t know exactly which position I would play, so we will see.
“The main point for me was that I wanted to play football in another country with a new language, a new culture, another tradition,” Kemme added.
“What was also important to me was that I finished my job at my university in Potsdam, in Germany, and now I’m prepared to only play professional football. I’m going to be free so I know I have a job and when I go back [to Germany] I can go to work as normal. I feel more free to focus on football.”