‘Can’t wait to see you shine’ – Arsenal star Leah Williamson shouts out ‘hero’ Jen Beattie after Gunners team-mate completes Bay FC move

Arsenal defender Leah Williamson called Jen Beattie her “hero” after the Scotland international completed a transfer to Bay FC.

Taking to Instagram, Williamson showed her support for Beattie following the latter’s confirmed departure from Arsenal to Bay FC, the new San Jose NWSL expansion franchise which begins playing this year. Beattie had been a Gunners player since 2019, following an earlier spell between 2009 and 2013.

Williamson said in the post: “My hero. My life is better with you in it and I can’t wait to see you shine in Cali.”

Williamson congratulates Beattie on move

Beattie was a star of the Arsenal first-team during her first spell at a club when Williamson was rising through the youth ranks. They hadn’t played together by the time the Scot joined Manchester City in 2013, but did get that chance when Beattie returned to the club six years later. Now, Williamson’s recent return to action from an ACL injury suffered last April was effectively what allowed Beattie to pursue a new challenge. Arsenal have also signed Sweden’s Amanda Ilestedt and Spain’s Laia Codina to boost their defence during the summer transfer window.

Jen Beattie Arsenal Women 2023-24

Despite her usual role as a defender, Beattie scored a hat-trick off the bench in a Champions League win for Arsenal over Barcelona in 2012. She had earlier scored in the reverse fixture too, which happened to be Alexia Putellas’ debut in the competition.

Leah Williamson Arsenal 2023-24

Having made her return to action as a substitute in last month’s Conti Cup win over Reading, Williamson remained on the bench for the follow up WSL victory against Liverpool. The Lionesses captain will be keen to build her match fitness as quickly as possible with the business end of the season appearing on the horizon. Arsenal still have the chance to finish the campaign with a domestic treble.

As for Beattie, who was successfully treated for breast cancer after being diagnosed in 2020, the 2024 NWSL season with Bay FC begins in mid-March, with playoffs scheduled for November.

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