The Women’s Super League team has had the 31-year-old Brazilian captain since January 2022. For Arsenal this season, Rafaelle has been crucial, helping the team win the League Cup and advance to the Women’s Champions League semifinals.
She will leave for circumstances that were out of our control, Eidevall stated on Friday. On Saturday, when Arsenal hosts Aston Villa to end their WSL season, she will play her last match for the club. Arsenal will mathematically finish in the top three and qualify for the Champions League once more with a point.
In his pre-game press conference, Eidevall was all love for Rafaelle, saying, “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.”
She has enjoyed playing with us here as much as we have enjoyed having her.She is unhappy about it, and we are sorry about it, but I truly treasure the memories we shared with her. I want to thank her for everything she did for the club, and I hope she can have a really good performance tomorrow.
As a result of a string of significant losses to important players, including Vivianne Miedema, Beth Mead, and captain Leah Williamson, Rafaelle has been especially important in maintaining Arsenal’s defensive stability.
For Arsenal, replacing Rafaelle will be just one challenge in a key summer of recruiting. Eidevall acknowledges that previous transfers have not gone well.
“It needs to be a very major transfer window for us,” said Eidevall, “particularly in light of the fact that both the summer and the winter windows were not good enough for us and we didn’t obtain our goals in the way we wanted. So this summer, we need to get it right.