Arsenal Women have spent a lot of money this season. In the summer, the Gunners signed some big names, such as Nikita Parris, Mana Iwabuchi and Tobin Heath. However, despite signing 5 players during the summer, it seems that the Gunners aren’t stopping there, as striker Stina Blackstenius is expected to make a move to Meadow Park in the next few hours, especially considering that she has now officially left Sweden.
However, this hasn’t been a straightforward transfer. In fact, this time two weeks ago, it seemed like Manchester United were going to be the ones making a move for the 25-year-old. But, after Arsenal’s squad depletion, which saw them not have a single forward player on the bench against Birmingham (a game which they ended up losing 2-0), they have swiftly moved towards acquiring the services of Blackstenius.
WHO IS STINA BLACKSTENIUS?
Emma Stina Blackstenius is a 25-year-old Swedish striker who last played for BK Häcken in the Swedish top flight. She started her playing career at her hometown football club, Vadstena GIF, where she also played in her youth career. Blackstenius joined the first-team setup in April 2011, against BK Kenty in the Östergötland region Division 3, the fifth tier of women’s football in Sweden. She scored twice on her debut, which showed that there was a lot more to come from the then 15-year-old.
It didn’t take long at all for the teenage starlet to show that she was ready for a bigger challenge. She thrived in her debut season, scoring 21 games in 18 league games. She backed it up in the following season, scoring an outstanding 38 league goals in just 16 games. So, it wasn’t a surprise when a bigger team came calling.
After her breakthrough start to senior football, Blackstenius signed a three-year contract with Linköpings, who play in the Damallsvenskan, the Swedish top-flight. She was initially phased into the team, typically being brought on from the bench, or playing in cup games. However, towards the end of the season, she was given a bigger role, and started all of the remaining 11 league games, compared to in the first 11, where she only started twice.
As a result, she went on a goalscoring run, scoring six goals in the final five games, as they finished third. Throughout her time at Linköpings, she improved her quality, and formed a brilliant duo with current Chelsea striker Pernille Harder, including the pair finishing as the top two in the goalscoring charts as Linköpings won the Damallsvenskan.
That was both Harder and Blackstenius’ last season at the club, as they helped bring 3 trophies to the club, helping to bring back some trophies to the club, which hadn’t been seen since 2009. It was one of Linköpings’ greatest spells, as they haven’t seen a trophy since 2017, and finished mid-table last season.
After leaving Linköpings at the end of the Swedish 2016 season, Blackstenius signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with French club Montpellier, in the 2016-17 season. On her debut, she scored the winner against PSG, in a 2-1 victory for La Paillade.
Due to the difference between seasons in Sweden and France, Blackstenius joined halfway through the season in France, and so only played 11 matches, but still scored 7 goals, helping them to second place. In her first full season, Blackstenius scored 12 goals in 20 games, helping Montpellier to a third-place finish. She fell out of favour towards the start of the 18/19 season, and as a result, opted to leave in January 2019.
There were many questions about where Stina would go, but not many people expected a move back to Linköpings. However, that’s what happened, as she signed a two-year deal with her former club. In her only season during her second spell, she scored nine goals, but Linköpings only finished in fifth.
Ahead of the 2020 season, Blackstenius moved to BK Häcken, who were named Kopparbergs/Göteborg at the time. She won the Damallsvenskan during her debut season, but hadn’t contributed as much to it in terms of goals as she would have liked. However, in the 2021 season, despite Häcken not winning the title, she led the way in terms of both goals and assists, with 17 goals and 8 assists, which got her onto her first-ever Ballon d’Or shortlist.
And that’s where her career is right now. 184 club goals, 244 goals. 74 caps for her country. Stina Blackstenius is a sensational footballer, could she perform a 2016 type partnership with Vivianne Miedema?