Leah Williamson's transformation into a defender at the start of the Spring Series may have caught some off-guard, but it would have come as no surprise to those who have followed her career closely.
The England youth international admits that her shift into defence from a central-midfield berth was not unexpected and in fact had always been on the cards.
"I think some would say it’s been a long time coming," Williamson told Arsenal Player. "I never want to shut the door to playing further forward, especially as a midfielder. I’ve got so much energy to use it’s almost a waste when I go back.
"But it’s something that I really want to try to hone now and I’m really on board with the manager’s decision to start playing me there. I’m really focusing on it myself. It’s a different side of the game. It’s more up here and less in the arms and legs.
"So it’ll help me develop as a player I think and maybe moving forward that will be my position because I think I could be real good at it at some point.
"Number six has always been my preferred number since I joined the centre. I joined the centre when I was eight and that my shirt from that age until I came to the seniors and the first team. It’s always had a personal sentiment to me, but definitely, for a start it’s a starting XI number and that’s where I want to cement my place now.
"That’s the most important part, getting on the pitch, but yes it’s definitely a more defensive number, so maybe that’s where we’re going with it now."