Arsenal have signed Mana Iwabuchi to replace Jill Roord who will join Wolfsburg at the end of the season.

Birmingham, England, May 2nd 202 Mana Iwabuchi 20 Aston Villa in action during the FA Women s Super League match between Aston Villa and West Ham United at Villa Park in Birmingham, England. Womens Super League - Aston Villa v West Ham
Mana Iwabuchi in action during the FA Women s Super League match between Aston Villa and West Ham United at Villa Park in Birmingham, England. Womens Super League – Aston Villa v West Ham

A few weeks ago, The Telegraph reported that Arsenal were close to agreeing a deal for Mana Iwabuchi after they sold Jill Roord to Wolfsburg. This tallied with rumours that we also heard here at Daily Cannon and now Arsenal have confirmed the deal:

The Japan World Cup winner helped Aston Villa stay in the WSL this season with some impressive performances, including being part of the Aston Villa squad that grabbed a goalless draw with Arsenal on the final league game of the season, albeit only as an 89th minute sub in that game.

This season, the 28-year-old found the net twice in 18 appearances whereas Roord scored seven, including two hattricks, in 19 league games.

Iwabuchi has also played for Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich where she won the Frauen-Bundesliga twice. She has 31 goals in 74 international caps for her country and was part of the Japan squad that won the Women’s World Cup in 2011. Iwabuchi was 18 at the time, having made her debut for NTV Beleza, Japan’s most successful side, when she was just 14.

Iwabuchi also has an Olympic silver medal, an Asian games trophy and an Asian cup along with a host of personal awards.

Mana Iwabuchi on life in the WSL

Speaking earlier this year about life in the WSL, Iwabuchi said, “Players are coming from all over the world, and the fact they’re here adds real fascination to the league. For me I think it is the best in the world.

“The style is different, and I feel like I’m learning a new type of football. I’m in the middle of studying the good points of English football, but on the other hand I also recognise the strengths of the Japanese game.”

Mana Iwabuchi signed for Villa in December, joining then in January 2021.