A consistent rumour has been floating around in the WSL ever since the conclusion of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia [via BBC Sport] – will Manchester United’s Mary Earps make the jump to Arsenal?
With the transfer window in the WSL now closed, Earps will not be able to join Arsenal until January – but a deal could be agreed before the winter comes around.
Earps was sensational at the World Cup. She conceded just three goals in the tournament – additionally, she also pulled off a spectacular penalty save in the final against Spain.
Her performances earned her the Best Goalkeeper award at the end of the World Cup – with it, a slew of potential suitors began to register an interest in her services at club level.
How would Mary Earps improve Arsenal?
The Gunners’ current first-choice ‘keeper, Manuela Zinsberger, is certainly no slouch. She kept ten clean sheets in the WSL last season – moreover, she also accumulated an impressive save percentage of 77.4% [via FBref].
Only three goalkeepers in the WSL had a higher save percentage than Zinsberger – Everton’s Emily Ramsey (82.5%), Chelsea’s Ann-Katrin Berger (78.6%) and, you guessed it, Mary Earps (79.3%).
As such, should Arsenal decide to sign Earps, she would be an improvement over the Austrian (at least from a shot-stopping perspective). However, we believe that the upgrade would be a marginal one – perhaps not enough to justify such a high-profile (not to mentioned expensive) transfer.
How much of a blow would it be for Manchester United to lose Mary Earps?
For Manchester United, on the other hand, losing Earps could prove to be disastrous. She is a world-class ‘keeper – they do not have a backup option who is anywhere near to her level of quality.
Should Earps leave United, they will need to seek out a replacement as soon as possible. However, it may be more difficult to accomplish than it might initially seem.
Earps has a strong presence within the United dressing room. While Katie Zelem is the team captain, she is nonetheless a powerful voice within the team and knows how to bolster the confidence of her teammates.