Gunners sign Sweden defender Amanda Ilestedt

Experienced defender Amanda Ilestedt has become Arsenal Women’s first summer signing.

The Swedish centre-back makes the switch to north London following a two-year spell with French side Paris Saint-Germain.

The Gunners remain short of defensive options after Leah Williamson suffered a long-term knee injury in April and centre-back partner Rafaelle Souza departed the club the following month.

The 30-year-old, who has been capped for Sweden 64 times, joins up with Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall for a second time after the pair worked together at FC Rosengard, winning two league titles.

Ilestedt has been selected to represent Sweden at this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Eidevall said: “I’m delighted Amanda has joined us here at Arsenal.

“She brings extensive international experience and I believe she has a great mix of presence and technical ability, making her an ideal fit for our squad.”

“I’m really excited and happy to be here,” said Ilestedt. “My goal is to win titles and this is a great club with great players and fantastic facilities, so I believe this is the right place for me to achieve that.

“There is a real sense of momentum around this club and the support has been wonderful I can’t wait to walk out onto the pitch in the Arsenal kit.”

“The injury blow to Leah Williamson and the summer departure of regular centre-back partner Rafaelle Souza made it very apparent Arsenal need to make defensive cover a priority in this window.

“The signing of Amanda Ilestedt, while slightly older than most of Arsenal’s summer targets, makes sense on that basis alone. She is the profile of defender that will suit Arsenal’s progressive style of play

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