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Arsenal defender Rafaelle set to depart this summer
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Phil Medlicott
Press Association
Brazil captain Rafaelle will leave Arsenal this summer
Brazil captain Rafaelle will leave Arsenal this summer

Jonas Eidevall has confirmed Arsenal defender Rafaelle Souza will leave the Women's Super League outfit this summer.

The 31-year-old Brazil captain, who has been linked with the Orlando Pride, has been with the Gunners since January 2022. 

But speaking at a press conference ahead of his side concluding their WSL campaign by hosting Aston Villa on Saturday, Eidevall said: "She's had such a high level, she's been so consistent and I'm so pleased for us that we've had a player like her. 

"We’ve been very happy with her, she's been very happy playing with us here as well. But for reasons that were beyond our control, she will leave. 

"She's sad for it, we're sad for it, but I really cherish the memories we had with her. 

"I want to thank her for all the contributions she made to the club and I hope she can have a really strong performance tomorrow and we can have a really nice send off." 

Asked if he thought it would be a busy summer of incomings, Eidevall said: "It has to be a very big transfer window for us. 

"Especially given that both last summer and the winter window was not good enough for us and we didn't get our targets in the way we wanted. 

"So we have to get that right this summer." 

Arsenal, who had multiple bids for Manchester United's England forward Alessia Russo rejected in January, look set to finish a season in which they have been hit by long-term injuries to a number of players third in the WSL.

 The Gunners are three points clear of Manchester City in the final Champions League berth, with a goal difference superior by 11. 

Eidevall, whose side have also won the League Cup and reached the Champions League semi-finals this term, said: "So far I've been very proud of the group and the performances, but there’s one left and we're not jumping ahead to anything. 

"We need to be very good on Saturday to finish the way we want.”


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