Eidevall confirms Rafaelle and Williamson are fit to play
Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall speaks to the press ahead of this weekend's game against Everton
2 December 2022
Jonas Eidevall confirmed that Leah Williamson and Rafaelle are in the matchday squad for the Everton match. Eidevall said “it is pleasing for us, starting to get players back from injuries and improving numbers in the squad”. When asked if they would start, he said “they are in the matchday squad, so starting eleven everyone will know tomorrow”. Added it “helps a lot having two more players of very high quality into our environment and that it would boost any team”.
Said that Leah is “very motivated about getting back onto the pitch, helping the team to achieve things”. Also said that players coming back from injury work hard to get back into the team and help them. As well as getting players back fit, they have also prioritised a mental break, have some time off and some more freedom.
Eidevall said Lina Hurtig and Kim Little are progressing well but not ready for matchday squad. Said Hurtig will hopefully be back before Christmas but no date given for Little's return.
When asked about recalling Gio from Everton, Jonas said “they will evaluate where Gio is at and what will be the best place for her to continue her development when the transfer window opens up”. Added they have all possibilities open still and “[it's] almost certain we will need to replace Beth Mead this season, but we will have to wait to see what that replacement looks like”.
On Everton, Eidevall said they “have a very good team” but not having expectations on them this season, he thinks, has helped their performances.
On facing Brian Sorensen, Eidevall said “he is trying to build something long-term, they are consistent in how they are doing things almost regardless of opponents they have been playing”. Added they have asked some interesting tactical questions to sides they have faced.
About going back to Meadow Park. Eidevall said he “really enjoy when we play at the Emirates, I also really enjoy playing and being near and seeing us play in front of the fans at Meadow Park”.
With not having a game for 10 days, Eidevall said they had last weekend off “which was the right thing to do”. Said they have had some good quality training sessions during the week.
When asked about players having time off during the season if they ask for it, Jonas said it is individual and about the support system. He added “it is important in any job, even if you love it and it is your passion, no one of us doesn’t have any vacation, because we know we need that, it is a human thing where you need to switch off and reconnect”.
On team moral with playing in front of record crowds but then the injuries. “I think moral is great” Eidevall answered, “they are working so well together, they are engaged, they work hard on the pitch, we look at the games and see where we can develop no matter what the result” he continued.