Arsenal’s Scottish left-back Emma Mitchell has moved to Tottenham Hotspur for six months on loan in order to get more game time.
Mitchell will not be allowed to play against Arsenal as part of the loan agreement. This means she will miss the home league game and a potential FA Cup tie.
The move makes a lot of sense for the player as she has seen her playing time restricted this season after missing most of last season due to mental health problems.
This season Emma has started three games and came on as a sub five times for a total of 363 minutes out of a maximum 1710 possible.
She is clearly the last choice at left-back with McCabe, Veje and Schnaderbeck selected ahead of her so far.
From the club’s side, we can also understand why she has been allowed to go. It must be really tough to train the whole week knowing that you are likely to sit on the bench in nearly every game with no real prospect of changing the pecking order.
The downside of this loan is the Arsenal squad size getting smaller and smaller.
You do wonder if a new player will be signed soon as injuries are starting to pile up ahead of three busy months with the club involved in four competitions.
When we left the team at the end of the year, the injury list was as follows: Danielle Carter and Tabea Kemme (long term), Beth Mead (ankle), Jennifer Beattie and Katrin Veje (short term).
In the worse case scenario, the club will have 14 senior players available plus the four Academy players Mel Filis, Ruby Grant, Gracie Pearse and Silvana Flores.
We have not reached the same sort of injury crisis level we witnessed last season where seven first team players were out and the club ended up signing up two players in the January window.
But bad luck could hurt the team as it did last season.
You also have to wonder if Emma has played her last game for the club because you would not really expect her to win a starting place next season considering the current trend.
Mitchell played 119 games so far since signing up in July 2013.
About signing for Spurs, she said, “I’m really pleased to be at the Club, it’s going to be a new challenge for me and I’m looking forward to being part of the squad and meeting the girls ahead of a big game against Manchester City on Sunday.
“After speaking to Karen and Juan, it felt like the best opportunity for me to come here and get some minutes under my belt which is a big focus for me in the new year and it will be nice to be part of helping the team get more points on the board.”