The transfer market ahead of the Spring Series has been heavy on the attack front. Arsenal add to a list that already comprises the likes Heather O'Reilly and Kim Little as they sign Sunderland's star striker Beth Mead.
Mead was set to stay with the Lady Black Cats until 2019 but the news follow's on from Sunderland's decision to restructure and revert back to a part-time model. This was announced at the beginning of 2017 and since then, they have also seen the departure of Rachel Furness, who joined Reading in order to continue a career as a full-time footballer.
The number nine joins a long list of talent that has left the club for pastures new. Jordan Nobbs, Jill Scott, Carly Telford and Lucy Bronze have all come up as North East stars and moved into roles at other WSL clubs.
Star on the rise
Since breaking through at Sunderland, Mead has been showered with praise regarding her striking ability. And there is no surprise considering her stunning scoring record of 77 goals in 78 games.
Additionally, the Whitby born forward scored 53% of seventh place Sunderland's goal, with six goals and assists, which is a scary stat for the north-east club as she now flocks to the south.
The prolific striker earned a host of accolades throughout her time at Sunderland. She picked up FAWSL 1 Player's Player of the Year and Vauxhall's Young England Player of the Year.
If those two, including a player voted award, do not demonstrate that her goal poaching ways had impressed just about everyone, in2016 the prestigious PFA Young Player of the Year Award was given to Beth Mead.
England National Team beckons?
Supporters of the game have been waiting for Mark Sampson to call upon the 21 year for international duty with the England squad but to no avail. Although she was called up to the senior team, she has not earned her first cap. However, Mead still has a lot of experience at the international level having represented England through the youth set up from 15 onwards. Notably, she played for the U-20 England team in the
However, joining Arsenal could open this door as she joins a whole host of players who are frequently involved in the Lionesses' camps and fixtures. Including the experienced Alex Scott and Fara Williams.
Currently there are questions around England's scoring ability as they have lacked cutting edge, recently losing out 1-0 Norway in an international friendly.
Should Mead shine bright as a Gunner and find the net as she has proven she can, Sampson could have another headache when it comes to selecting his team for the Euros - which takes place in The Netherlands in the summer.
Mead told Arsenal.com about her feelings about joining the club: "I am so excited to have signed for Arsenal Ladies and I can’t wait to get started."
Like with her game on the pitch, the striker was quick to state her ambitions: "I want to win trophies with this team, and I want to learn and grow further from the top players that I will be playing with here. It’s an honour to be a part of this special club."
Manager Pedro Martinez Losa expressed his feeling of capturing the striker: "Beth is a very exciting addition to our squad, she is a young player who wants to win and achieve,"
"She shares the same ambitions as us at Arsenal. She is an incredible goal scorer and I'm looking forward to seeing her development with us" he added.