Laia Codina: Arsenal Women sign Spanish World Cup defender from Barcelona Femeni | Football news

Laia Codina joins Arsenal Women from Barcelona Femeni, where she helped the club win League F and the Women’s Champions League last season; The 23-year-old defender started four of Spain’s matches en route to victory at the Women’s World Cup earlier this month

16:46 UK Tuesday 29 August 2023

Barcelona Femeni and Spanish World Cup defender Laia Codina have joined Arsenal Women.

The 23-year-old centre-back completed a permanent move to London Colney shortly after helping Spain win the tournament in Australia, where she started four matches, including their 1-0 final victory over England on 20 August.

The gold medal added to a superb domestic year for Codina and Barcelona, ​​who jointly lifted the Women’s Champions League at the end of last season and won Liga F, Spain’s top flight, dropping just five points in 30 league games.

Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall said: “Laia is a world-class defender and I am delighted to be working with her here at Arsenal. She has a great combination of technical ability and physical presence and we believe this will enable her to adapt to our style here quickly.

“He has considerable experience of playing at the highest level and winning trophies, so I am confident he will be an excellent addition to our squad moving forward.”

Codina is one of 81 players, including the entire World Cup-winning squad, currently refusing to play for Spain until under-fire Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales leaves his post.

The Catalan-born defender joined Barcelona as a 14-year-old and progressed through the academy ranks, making his debut in 2019 and making 36 appearances for the club. She also spent the 2021/22 season on loan at AC Milan, playing a further 19 times.

Arsenal have confirmed that Codina will wear the number 27 shirt at the club. She becomes their fourth signing of the summer, following centre-back Amanda Ilestedt from PSG, Alessia Russo from Man Utd and Cloe Lacasse from Benfica.

The Women’s Super League returns to Sky in October

Twenty of England’s 23-man World Cup squad are competing in the Women’s Super League, with 15 of them at top four clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

The WSL kicks off on Sunday October 1 with six games including reigning champions Chelsea v Tottenham live on Sky Sports at 5.30pm.

Some WSL teams have already started pre-season training, with England players expected to return to their respective teams in the coming weeks before regrouping for the Nations League.

The WSL saw record ticket sales after the Lionesses won the European Championship last year, with many hoping this summer’s World Cup campaign would bring even more eyeballs to the league.

Ferdinand Medina

"Internet evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Hardcore entrepreneur. Incurable analyst. Extreme food junkie. Unapologetic tv maven. Reader."