Interview

'Arsenal has a special place in my heart'

Almost 10 years on from joining us as an 18-year-old, Jennifer Beattie has returned to north London as one of the Women’s Super League’s finest defenders. 

The Scotland international made more than 100 appearances for Manchester City, winning five trophies, but now she’s targeting European success under the guidance of Joe Montemurro. 

We spoke to Beattie after putting pen to paper - and this is what she said: 

on why she’s decided to return to north London…
I think Arsenal have always had a place in my heart to be honest since I was a young kid. They were the club that gave me my first opportunity when I was 18, 10 years ago actually from now, and I just felt it was the right time to push on and have another challenge. I want to win the Champions League and trophies are what I hope to achieve with this club, and I think everyone is on the same page here.

on her standout memories of her time at the club…
I think just lifting trophies. At that time I was in a team with an incredible group of players who dominated the women’s game in England at that time, and they’ve gone on to do that. It’s a pleasure to be back. 

on our return to being champions - and the football we’ve played…
I know Joe well from being out in Melbourne and playing under him for a few months and he’s an incredible coach. With his style of play I think it’s because there’s some Italian in him, but I think the Arsenal style of play is always something I’ve looked towards and admired as a player. Hopefully it’s something I can play my role within.

on how much Montemurro influenced her decision…
Yeah, he played a massive part. He’s the kind of coach you want to play for and not just for his coaching ability, but as a person as well. He’s a relaxed, calm and likeable guy and I can’t wait to work with him again. 

on having some familiar faces at the club…
I’ve played with a few of the girls when I used to be here, but there’s some Scottish teammates within the team, so I’m looking forward to my first day.

on where she will play…
I wouldn’t say I’m that versatile anymore. As a kid growing up I played in a few positions, but central defence is where I’ve managed to play for City and Scotland, so that’s my preferred position.

on what she hopes to achieve with the club…
Number one, I want to enjoy my football, get cracking in pre-season, get to know the girls, get to know the club again and then start on a day-to-day basis. Obviously, when you sign for a club like this, trophies are what everyone is looking towards, and that’s what we’ll all be looking to achieve.