Kim Little netted her 50th Women’s Super League goal for Arsenal against West Ham United at Meadow Park on Sunday and it was a momentous moment for the Scottish international, who is once again at the top of her game having had her fair share of injury setbacks during her career.
The Gunners star has played a starring role in Jonas Eidevall’s side this season as she is currently the league’s leading scorer with six, having scored a brace this weekend. She has had an unfortunate couple of years with injuries that have robbed her some great moments, including missing out on the Women’s Euro 2017 finals after playing a crucial role in getting them to their first major tournament. She also suffered a foot injury with the Gunners in 2020 that ruled her out for six months – but she has come back stronger.
In a bid to prolong her club career, Little made the difficult decision to retire from international football in September at the age of 31. She scored 59 goals in 140 appearances for her country and now her golden touch in front of goal exclusively belongs to Arsenal. She’s in her second spell with the north London club after originally parting ways in 2013 after five years, but she returned four years later after spells with Seattle Reign and a loan at Melbourne City. There was always a part of Arsenal in the Scot’s heart, and it was always believed that she would return, so when it happened there was never any doubt of her thriving in red and white once again.
Her attacking stats have been incredibly impressive this season. She has scored six goals from eight shots, boasting an impressive 75% goal conversion rate, with a shot accuracy of 88%. Her lightning form in the final third has her averaging a goal every 85 minutes – and she is in the form of her life.
The attacking midfielder has looked sharper than ever in the WSL this season and she has been turning in some excellent performances that have been earning her plaudits from all around. After their victory over West Ham on Sunday, Eidevall was full of praise for his player.
“I thought Kim Little was brilliant,” the manager said. “She’s so dynamic in midfield and with her defensive runs. She takes the best positioning, and it really glues the different units together.
“Kim is so impressive with her dynamics when she gets the ball. She’s a very hard player to defend against and played a huge part in the victory.”
The Gunners have continued their explosive start to the season with six wins from six and are three points ahead of Emma Hayes’ Chelsea at the top of the table. Little’s contributions have played a big part in Eidevall’s quick transformation of the club and former England international Karen Carney has also been impressed with her performances.
“Her footwork is an absolute joke,” she told Sky Sports in October.
“I call her a magician because she’s got a low centre of gravity, her footwork is phenomenal, and these passes literally open up teams. Kim Little for me has the most football intelligence in the WSL.”
The impact that the stalwart figure has had on the WSL is monumental and her Gunners team-mate Leah Williamson knows exactly how much of an asset she is to the club.
She told DAZN: “I’d say our team’s best player is Vivianne Miedema and Kim Little maybe. They both have individual talent, that can just change a game like that, and they’re breaking records all over.”
Little has been through a lot to make it this far, but now she is performing at her absolute peak. If she can keep up this level of performance, and keep drawing the praise and plaudits from pundits and teammates alike, then Arsenal could just be crowned champions in May.
Image from El Loko Photo