'I knew immediately she’s an Arsenal character’


From the day Joe Montemurro met Malin Gut, he knew that she’d fit in at Arsenal.

Not only is she a young and technical midfielder, always willing to take risks - but she’s also mature beyond her years and ready to take the next step in her career.

We recently spoke to our head coach about the Switzerland international - and here’s what he had to say:

on his delight at signing Malin Gut…

I’m extremely happy. She’s a player that I noticed about a year ago now in the Swiss national team that is very, very mature for her age and has already had a bit of Champions League experience. She’s someone that I think is really going to flourish in our environment around the players that she’s going to be around. She’s a very exciting prospect for the club.

on a number of top European clubs being interested in her…

Obviously with the position that she plays and the way that we play, she’s very much a ball-playing holding midfielder and a player that wants to get involved very, very quickly in the build-up. I think the style of play was very important to her because she wanted to understand the way that we do things and I think it was really noticeable from that conversation that there was real synergy. Second of all, her ability to take the next step with all the other things involved in being a professional footballer, from the sports science and strength and conditioning, to the analysis and the full-time professionalism that we can offer her. It was exciting from that perspective and from the first day that I met her I could tell that she’s of an Arsenal character. She’s very humble and a great character to have amongst the group.

on whether he spoke to Lia Walti about her…

Yeah, you speak to a lot of people along the way and Walti was one I had a good chat with about Malin and her character. It was really important also that Malin finished her last year of school in Switzerland too. We wanted to make sure that she came knowing that she’s got all the situations in place to start her professional career at Arsenal and we believe that she’s going to be a player who will reach really big heights at the club.

on whether Malin can make an instant impact…

Any signing we make is ready to make an impact in the here and now, but they’re also signings for the future. We would never say we’re going to sign a player now and then it’s just going to stop gap the situation - no. It’s taken a while to get the succession planning right in terms of the age of the squad and once I identified that Malin is a player that would be part of that planning, it was one that we knew could benefit us now and in the future too. She’s a player that will help us in both of those scenarios.

on his excitement at returning to London Colney…

I even miss the smell of the grass! I’ve been missing the day to day tasks, being on the park and doing what I love best, and that’s solving problems with football. I think it’s going to be really exciting. I think the fact we’ve been away from the game for a while, a lot of people have found, whether that’s fans or us in the staff and players, a real love for the game again. We’ve missed it and I really believe that the next year is only going to be bigger and better. The football is going to be absolutely fantastic.

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