Alessia Russo, formerly of Manchester United, has signed a free-agent contract to play for Arsenal.

In January, United rejected two record offers from Arsenal, the second of which was reportedly close to £500,000.

The 24-year-old Russo quit United after three years despite the club’s repeated offers of contract extensions.

“I want to win trophies – as does everyone in this club,” Russo remarked.

I’m excited to dive in and develop my skills. It’s a fresh start in an unfamiliar setting.

“I think the growth of the women’s game has been incredible, but particularly at a club like Arsenal,” Russo said of her decision to leave Manchester United for Arsenal.

It was great to see a sellout crowd at Emirates Stadium for last year’s game versus Wolfsburg. Simply put, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this group.

The champion of Euro 2022, who will be playing for England at the Women’s World Cup later this month, joins Paris Saint-Germain defender Amanda Ilestedt and Benfica forward Cloe Lacasse as Arsenal’s three summer signings.

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After spending two years at UNC, Russo signed with United in 2020 while manager Casey Stoney was still in charge.

With 10 goals and an assist in 20 games, she was United’s joint-leading scorer in the Women’s Super League this season, helping the team to its best-ever finish and a spot in the Champions League next year.

The center striker emerged as a tournament hero after coming off the bench to score four goals for England, including a stunning backheel in the semi-finals, and lead them to their first women’s major tournament title.

With Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema of England and the Netherlands, respectively, recuperating from anterior cruciate ligament injuries, Caitlin Foord of Australia and Stina Blackstenius and Lina Hurtig of Sweden already on the books, competition for offensive slots is fierce at Arsenal.

After the 22nd of July, when the Women’s World Cup gets underway in Australia and New Zealand, Russo will rejoin her Arsenal teammates.

On the weekend of September 29th and October 1st, the new WSL season will officially begin.

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