The young Arsenal Academy midfielder, Ruby Grant, who will turn 18 in April, has signed up for the prestigious University of North Carolina in the USA who are coached by the legend, Anson Dorrance.
Despite her young age, Ruby already has two first team seasons under her belt with Arsenal.
Last season was her breakthrough one. As a 16-year-old, she played 198 minutes with the first team, getting two starts and three games as a sub, including a hat-trick and player of the round in the FA Women’s Cup.
Those are exceptional statistics, as the club rarely give first team football to 16-year-olds. Lotte Wubben-Moy and Lauren James were also given games and starts at that age, and they are both special players.
This season, Arsenal have signed more players due to the extra competition, playing in the Champions League. There are 18 senior players in the squad most of the time, so youngsters don’t get games now.
Grant had had one game as a sub for 25 minutes and played mostly for the Arsenal Academy the u21 side.
Ruby was part of the England u-17 squad last season that made it to the finals in Bulgaria and were eliminated at the group stage despite finishing with six points due to their head to head to head record against Germany and the Netherlands.
This season, she is part of the England u-18 squad, a squad that the FA does not really acknowledge, even if they do play some friendlies.
She will leave the club after seven seasons, coming up all the way from the RTC to the Academy and will join a prestigious University with an exceptional NCAA record.
The coach is in his 41st season at the helm of a team.
UNC have won 22 out of 36 Championships. Previous Alumni include the recently retired former Arsenal player, Heather O’Reilly, and England’s right-back Lucy Bronze, who won the title there.
There are currently three English players in the team: former Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy and two former Chelsea players in Lois Joel and Alessia Russo.
It is a pity to see another talented youngster leave the club, but there is no doubt her development will be excellent over there and there is no guarantee that she would see more game time with the first team if she stayed at the club.
Hopefully, she will get more first team opportunities before the end of the season and leave with an Academy League and Cup double as well.