Lisa Evans’ move to West Ham on loan is the first big squad decision made by Jonas Eidevall, and although surprising, this is a quite logical move that is good for all parties.
First, we have to remember that Evans did not get a lot of playing time last season following her injuries. She got 675 minutes overall, making her the 19th-most-used player in term of minutes.
From a key player during the title season and the following one, where she had the second most minutes played behind Danielle van de Donk, Evans became a bit-part player last season.
It was likely that it was going to be the same this season.
There is a lot of competition in the team in the two areas where Evans can play (full-back and in attack). Arsenal registered nine defenders and six forwards in the Champions League squad.
At right-back, Evans would compete with Noelle Maritz and Anna Patten, and likely to be third choice.
In attack, she would be competing for a winger’s spot with Beth Mead, Katie McCabe, Nikita Parris, maybe Mana Iwabuchi, too, and was potentially fourth choice.
Even if Arsenal are playing in five competitions this season, Evans was likely to get little game time.
It is quite obvious that going on loan was a good option for the Scottish winger.
It is also a strong statement from the new Arsenal manager to move her away from the club. After all, he could have kept Evans and let her compete for a place in the starting XI. I mean, loss of form can happen and in my view, she could be a better player than those selected ahead of her.
We know Jonas Eidevall is starting to stamp on his authority on the squad to pull the team in a new direction. He will work on playing from the back and beating the opposition’s high press that caused many problems for the team under Joe Montemurro. Eidevall will also lead the team towards pressing higher on the pitch, as seen in the pre-season games.
Losing Lisa Evans in an area where we have a lot of players is not really a problem number-wise.
The only problem right now is the lack of bodies in central midfield with Malin Gut and Jordan Nobbs both injured and only Lia Walti, Kim Little and Frida Maanuum listed in the Champions League squad.
Hopefully, Evans will have an excellent season at West Ham and can find new opportunities for the upcoming seasons as it is unlikely that the club will extend her contract in the future.