Arsenal goalkeeper Fran Stenson has signed a new, long-term contract with the club.
Stenson, who is still only 19, arrived at the club last summer when the keeper moved from Manchester City.
Although Stenson has yet to make a senior appearance for the Gunners, the shotstopper appeared in the first team for both Birmingham City and Manchester City.
As Sylvain has often pointed out, Joe Montemurro has been ruthless with his goalkeepers, dispensing of one in every transfer window so far.
Stenson spent last season on loan with Blackburn but Montemurro has her earmarked for a future number one role.
“We’ve been strategic this year, so we have a very experienced goalkeeper in Lydia and she’s very experienced in big games,” Montemurro told Tim Stillman. “Manu is 24 and a bit younger, so she’s in that middle bracket in terms of age and then we’ve got Fran  coming up.”
Stenson signed her first professional contract in August 2019 but has been rewarded with a new deal to reflect her growing importance to Montemurro’s side.
A dream come true to have signed my first professional contract. Proud moment for myself, family and friends. Can’t wait for the season to start! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/OkQD1bTjBU
— Fran Stenson (@StensonFran) August 16, 2019
Williams is of course out injured, undergoing surgery on an ankle problem back in August. The 23-year-old Australian is expected back in November.
Williams signed for Arsenal at the start of July with the club letting Pauline Peyraud-Magnin leave the club.
Stenson was called up to replace Williams as Arsenal’s number two.
Joe Montemurro on Fran Stenson’s new contract with Arsenal
“These are big signings and important signings for us,” Montemurro said. “We believe Fran is probably going to be one of the best goalkeepers in England for the national team.
“Obviously she’s an important part of Arsenal’s process going forward with the way she plays. It’s exciting that a player of development, a player of that level has committed herself to Arsenal. We’re privileged to be able to be part of her development, to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
“To be in and among the top professionals that we’ve got, to learn from them and to be working with our staff, to know that every day she’s got to come in and keep the standards high, I think is important for her continuity and her growth. We’ve seen a real accelerated development from her perspective and also the work Leanne [Hall]’s doing with her is important as well.
“Part of the process in our goalkeeping ranks was to bring in important role models. Manuela is on her way, she’s a younger goalkeeper, but to have Lydia amongst us is important. She’s a seasoned professional that has played at the highest level for many years.
“I think it gives her the full package in the holistic develop she needs, in terms of off the pitch and on the pitch. It’s about learning how to prepare herself but also the importance of setting the standards very high and keeping the standards high. I think the environment is perfect for her and no doubt we’ll see that growth over the next few months.”