Supporters helped inspire Walti's decision to stay

After putting pen to paper on a new deal at the club, Lia Walti credited our supporters and the opportunity to regularly play in front of huge crowds as factors in her decision to remain in north London.

The Swiss midfielder has extended her stay with us having first arrived in 2018, and during that time she has witnessed the growth of the women’s game grow exponentially, especially over the past couple of seasons.

That has been no more evident than at Emirates Stadium this season, with large attendances recorded for our Women’s Super League games and culminating in a domestic record 60,063 supporters watching our Champions League semi-final with Wolfsburg earlier this month.

Having already experienced plenty during her career, Lia is well-placed to feel there is nowhere better to be playing her football right now than with us, and for our passionate fanbase.

Speaking about her decision to stay, she said: “It’s a special moment for me to commit for a few more years to stay at Arsenal. I’m very, very happy and excited.

“When you’re a bit older like me turning 30 this year then you obviously want to consider everything. You want to look at all the options and you need to look at what’s most important for me and what are my priorities. 

“The main reason for me to stay is the group - not only the players but everything around the club. The English league at the minute is such a good place to be. We’re playing in front of full crowds and especially here at the club, you feel the full support for women’s football.

“It’s something we were all dreaming about when we were younger. Now you’ve finally reached that and for me, it was like: ‘Do I actually want to leave that place right now?’. I just want to have more of it and have more memories with the girls.”

Having already tasted league and cup success during his six-year stint so far, the Swiss international captain is hoping there is more success to come. This campaign has seen us win the Conti Cup, come so close to a Champions League final and remain in the mix for the WSL title, so she feels there are definitely more good times on the horizon.

That is a sentiment shared by our Gooners, who will be thrilled with this news having chanted for her to remain with the club during recent weeks, and she hopes to repay their support in the form of silverware.
“Arsenal means a lot to me, I feel at home here” she added. “I’ve built good connections on the pitch but also off the pitch. I just felt from the first moment that this is a place where I’m going to be happy and I just want to stay here for a few more years.
“It’s so nice to hear and to read that they want me to stay. I love the fans and I feel like they started to love me from the first season onwards. It’s really nice that they appreciate the work you put on the field every single day and I’m really looking forward to more memories with them.”

Watch the full interview with Lia by pressing play on the video above

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