Chelsea have shown they mean business in the transfer market as they go about the defence of their WSL title, having already signed former Bayern Munich captain Melanie Leupolz and ex-Liverpool youngster Niamh Charles.
Last season’s runners up Manchester City have been hot on their heals, securing the signing of 2019/20 WSL breakout star Chloe Kelly.
But third place Arsenal have ensured they do not fall behind their title rivals, with a flurry of new arrivals over the course of the last week.
The Gunners have announced four signings in the space of eight days – Steph Catley, Noëlle Maritz, Malin Gut and Lydia Williams – and they can all be made available for Arsenal’s Champions League quarter final against PSG on 22 August.
The quartet are WSL newbies, so just who are they, how will they slot in at Arsenal and what can Gunners fans expect from them?
Arsenal signed Maritz from Wolfsburg, bringing an end to her seven-year stay with the German champions.
Despite being just 24, the Switzerland international brings a wealth of experience with her. Maritz has been capped 74 times for her country, won five Bundesliga titles and lifted the Champions League in 2014.
Maritz can operate at left back or right back and is a typical modern full back; she is strong defensively but thrives driving forward.
The former Wolfsburg player will help plug the defensive gaps left by Emma Mitchell and Katrine Veje, who have both departed Arsenal this summer, but with Lisa Evans, Leonie Maier, Katie McCabe and fellow new arrival Steph Catley, the Gunners will not be short of options at full-back during the 2020/21 campaign.
Arsenal recruited goalkeeper Lydia Williams from Melbourne City. The 32-year-old is teaming up with Joe Montemurro once more, having played under the Arsenal boss during his time in charge at Melbourne.
The Australian international has won 88 caps for her country, and was the Matildas number one at the 2015 and 2019 World Cup. She made her senior international debut just five years after she started playing football.
Williams has predominantly played her domestic football in her native Australia and the United States, but this is not her first stint in European football. The goalkeeper had a brief spell at Swedish side Piteå IF between 2012 and 2013.
Williams has been brought in following the departure of Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, and will challenge Manuela Zinsberger for the number one spot.
Arsenal brought in Malin Gut from Swiss outfit Grasshopper Zurich. Despite being just 19 years old, she has been playing senior football for four years, having broken into the FC Zurich first team as a 15-year-old.
Gut is a Switzerland international and has made five appearances for her country since making her debut in 2019.
The teenager is a defensive midfielder, and will offer the Gunners some much needed strength in depth in the number four role. Last season, Gut’s compatriot Lia Wälti was Arsenal’s only recognisable defensive midfielder, with defender Leah Williamson and the more attack-minded Jill Roord forced to fill in during Wälti’s absences.
Montemurro has continued his love for versatility with the signing of Gut, with the Switzerland international also capable of operating at centre half and in a more advanced number eight role.
Catley is Arsenal’s third Australian arrival in the space of six months, following the recent acquisition of Lydia Williams and the January signing of Caitlin Foord.
Like the former, Catley had played under Montemurro at Melbourne City, and has also enjoyed spells in the States with Portland Thorns, Reign FC and Orlando Pride.
The 26-year-old has been capped 82 times for her country and is regarded as one of the vest left backs in the world – reportedly turning down giants Lyon in order to sign for Arsenal and reunite with Montemurro.
Catley is an attack-minded full-back, and will be jostling for a starting berth with Katie McCabe and Noëlle Maritz.