Rachel Yankey pens new deal
Rachel Yankey (Source: The Guardian)

Rachel Yankey pens new deal

Arsenal and England legend Rachel Yankey has signed a new contract with the club.

Alex McCaffrey

Rachel Yankey has joined fellow teammate and Arsenal legend Kelly Smith in signing a new deal, details of which remain undisclosed.

Smith remains tireless 

The long serving winger/forward made her debut in 1996 at the age of 16 and went on to win eight league titles, nine FA Women's Cups and one UEFA Women's Cup. She joined Canadian team Laval Dynamites on loan in 2000 and also played for English clubs like Birmingham and Fulham, before rejoining Arsenal in 2005.

Arsenal Ladies manager Pedro Martinez Losa revealed he it was a "privilege" to coach Rachel Yankey, and that he never thought he would have the opportunity to coach her while working in Spain and America.

He also said that he "hoped Rachel gets the recognition she deserves" for being a "symbol of reference in women's football." He said that it was "good news" considering what she brings to the club on the pitch as well as off it. Losa revealed that Yankey could help the team by mentoring younger players like how she did in the Continental Cup final last year.

A landmark year for Yankey 

Yankey, who was awarded an OBE and MBE in 2014 for her outstanding contribution to football, has been capped a record 129 times for England and 5 times for Great Britain. She made her senior England debut in August 1997, scoring in a 4-0 win over Scotland. Yankey became the second Englishwoman after Gillian Coultard to earn 100 caps during a home World Cup qualifier against Turkey. She was the Nationwide International Player of the Year in the 2004–05 season and was inducted in the London Youth Games Hall of Fame in 2011.

England coach Mark Sampson gained recognition after England's fine performance in the World Cup (Source: Daily Mail)
England coach Mark Sampson gained recognition after England's fine performance in the World Cup (Source: Daily Mail)

Despite being overlooked by England boss Mark Sampson for the 2016 SheBelieves Cup in the United States, Yankey remains a key player for Arsenal Ladies, having played nine out of the fourteen games in the 2015 FA Women's Super League season.