Tobin Heath has revealed her love for Arsenal was behind the USA star signing for the Gunners this summer.
Tobin Heath is finally expected in London this week, the 33-year-old yet to meet her new teammates.
She is expected to be at the club in time for Arsenal’s crunch tie against Manchester City this weekend, although whether she plays any part in that game remains to be seen.
Speaking to Forbes, Heath revealed the depth of her feelings for the club she has yet to represent.
It’s a club that it’s easy to be passionate about and one that is really deep in my heart and in my history of football
“I’m a huge Arsenal fan” Heath said.
“It was my first childhood club. A team that I really followed and I fell in love with at a young age.
“Obviously they have incredible history on the women’s side as well that I’m looking forward to being a part of.
“I feel like in our minds we all think our club career is going to go a certain way. In the last couple of years, a change in my plans has given me opportunities that I never thought I’d be able to get and this is one of them”.
Heath has, of course, played against Arsenal when she was with Manchester United last season. She was in their side that beat the Gunners 1-0, but injury restricted her season to just 11 appearances for the Red Devils.
Many had expected Heath to return to the States when her United contract came to an end, but when she got the call from Arsenal, Heath just couldn’t say no.
“I think it’s serendipitous”, Heath added. “The time I was becoming passionate about football and the way Arsenal was as a club.
“The players that were playing there, the amount of trophies that were being won was incredible. Obviously having a coach like Arsène that was completely revolutionizing the game of football, and also being successful doing it.
“I was attracted to the style of play, to the certain players that were playing there and, you know, your first love of a club is something that is kind of unchanging and unwavering through it all.
“Then, if you look on the women’s side of things, I guess in the landscape of European football, they were at the forefront of women’s football in creating a team, investing in a team, winning both the Champions League and the domestic league.
“So, it’s a club that it’s easy to be passionate about and one that is really deep in my heart and in my history of football.”
Heath then spoke about her conversations with Jonas Eidevall that led to her signing. “With Jonas we had a great first conversation, about his vision for the team, his style of play, about how he runs his practices, the things that are important to him.
“You can already tell that the team is in a much different kind of mentality and frame of mind going into this season, I think, than the prior one which is credit to him coming in and implementing his ideas in a quick way.
“So, I’m really excited to get in there and see what that’s going to be like”.
Arsenal’s game against Manchester City this weekend will be shown live on Sky Sports and Heath was also asked her opinion on the massive TV deal that started this season.
“At a club level, a really positive thing was the WSL signing with Sky Sports. I think it’s absolutely incredible.
“It’s a massive TV deal for women’s football.
“That’s going to completely change the landscape of football over in England and I just think it needs to be easier to find, easier to watch because there’s a really good product being shown right now on the field.”