Lioness Alessia Russo leaves Manchester United to join Arsenal on free transfer

Arsenal have unveiled Alessia Russo Credit: Arsenal FC

England forward Alessia Russo is targeting silverware after joining Arsenal on a free transfer.

As her contract with Women’s Super League rivals Manchester United expired, the Gunners swooped to land the 24-year-old striker.

Russo hit 10 goals in the WSL last season as United finished runners-up to champions Chelsea.

She emerged as a January transfer target for Arsenal, but a world-record bid was shunned by the Red Devils as they pushed to claim the title.

Russo did not sign a new deal and was instead free to leave Manchester for north London – where she is keen to add domestic medals to the Women’s Euro success she enjoyed with the Lionesses last summer.

Alessia Russo was one of the Lionesses to win the European Championships last summer. Credit: PA Images

“I’m really excited to be here and I can’t wait to get going,” Russo said after joining Arsenal.

“I want to win trophies – as does everyone in this club. I can’t wait to get stuck in and grow as a player – it’s a new challenge and a new environment.”

“I think the growth of the women’s game has been incredible, but particularly at a club like Arsenal.

“The sell-out against Wolfsburg at Emirates Stadium last season was fantastic and I’m just really excited to be part of this club.”

Russo will be heading to Australia in a few weeks time for the World Cup. Credit: PA Images

Russo, who is part of the England squad heading to the World Cup later this summer, has hit 11 goals in 21 senior appearances for her country.

“Alessia is one of the best forwards in the world and has significant potential to continue growing and improving,” said Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall.

“She has a proven track record of scoring goals in the WSL and at international level and we believe she will be a quality addition to our forward line, so we’re all delighted to have brought her to the club.”

Russo becomes Arsenal’s third signing of the summer following the acquisitions of defender Amanda Ilestedt and forward Cloe Lacasse from Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica respectively.

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