Multiple sources in the USA, Australia and England believe that the Australian striker, Caitlin Foord, is on the Arsenal wishlist and could move to the club during the January transfer window.
The forward currently plays at home in Australia in the W-League for Sydney FC and was involved this week in a trade with the NWSL.
Her rights were traded by Portland to Orlando, alongside US defender Emily Sonnett, in exchange for the number one choice in the upcoming draft next week.
Eligibility and exceptions
FIFA regulations on the status and transfer of players from June 19 state that a player can only play for two clubs in one season.
“Players may be registered with a maximum of three clubs during one season. During this period, the player is only eligible to play official matches for two clubs.”
As Foord as already played for Portland Thorns and Sydney FC she would therefore not be able to play for Arsenal.
Thankfully, there is an exception to the rule and it applies in this case.
The NWSL season is a summer season, the W-League is a winter season (although it is obviously the summer there) and the FA WSL is a winter season.
“As an exception to this rule, a player moving between two clubs belonging to associations with overlapping seasons (i.e. start of the season in summer/autumn as opposed to winter/spring) may be eligible to play in official matches for a third club during the relevant season, provided he has fully complied with his contractual obligations towards his previous clubs. Equally,the provisions relating to the registration periods (article 6) as well as to the minimum length of a contract (article 18 paragraph 2) must be respected.”
Versatility/back-up for Miedema
Foord is a forward who can play at full-back but is not actually suited actually to that position. She is a bit too slow to get up and down the pitch and is much better up front.
She is strong and powerful, so the 25-year-old would fit perfectly as a number 9 for Arsenal or on the wing.
I anticipate she would come as back-up for Vivianne Miedema and would also be involved in the rotation on the wings.
Australia will play an AFC Olympic qualifier soon and Foord has been called up, which means she will not be available for a short period.
AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament dates are confirmed as 3-9 February 2020, with the play-off round on the 6 and 11 March 2020.