Arsenal announced the re-signing of Lotte Wubben Moy from the University of North Carolina on Friday. The 21-year old was recently called into the England squad for the first time and is a product of Arsenal’s youth academy, having left the club for Chapel Hill in 2017. But who is she and what will she add? Here is a short explainer.
WHAT IS HER BACK STORY?
Carlotte Mae Wubben-Moy was born to an English mother and a Dutch father in Bow, East London and went to school in Stoke Newington. Lotte is a fluent Dutch speaker and comes from a family of Arsenal fans on her mum’s side. She was a versatile athlete at school where she played football, goal defence in netball and was a long jumper and 800-metre runner. Her father, Antonius Wubben is a competitive cyclist.
Lotte made her Arsenal debut at the age of 16 in 2015, but she really made a name for herself in the 2017 Spring Series, starting every game of the abridged league season at the heart of the defence before leaving that summer to study at North Carolina University and play for them. Lotte also blogs regularly about her life.
WHY DID SHE LEAVE IN 2017, THEN?
It is common for talented 18-year old female athletes to move to the US to take part in the scholarship system. That way, they get to compete at a professional level and study for a degree at the same time. Lotte studied Sports and Exercise Science with a minor in Art History. Arsenal regularly lose academy players to the US college system, however, there was always a strong likelihood that Lotte would return given her roots in London. She also became close friends with Heather O’Reilly, with whom she played at Arsenal for a short time. HAO is a North Carolina native.
Wubben-Moy usually trained with Arsenal to keep her fitness up between term times in the US. She ended up finishing her degree slightly early to re-sign for Arsenal. The uncertainty for women’s football in the US due to covid is driving a lot of US based players to the WSL. Having just been called into the England squad, Lotte was keen not to lose momentum with her playing career.
— Stoke Newington School and Sixth Form (@StokeySchool) September 11, 2020
WHERE DOES SHE PLAY?
Lotte is a centre-half, primarily, but can operate in defensive midfield too. At Arsenal she will certainly play more often as a central defender. Initially Arsenal were going into the season with three centre-halves in Leah Williamson, Jen Beattie and Viki Schnaderbeck. There are concerns over the fitness of Jen Beattie who is struggling with a recurring lower back injury.
WHAT CAN SHE BRING?
Well, Arsenal needed another centre half and Lotte really fits the bill. She is very much schooled in the Arsenal way, she is very calm in possession making line-breaking passes and is often lauded for her leadership qualities. Crucially, she is also physically very adept having played in the US where the game tends to be more physical and soccer players are usually multi-discipline sportswomen.
Her coach at UNC, Anson Dorrance, said of her in 2019, “Lotte is not only one of the team leaders but also is easily the fittest player on our roster. Her fitness base is very deep. She can distribute over distance. She can penetrate off the dribble. She can organise the defence. She reads the game very well. Composure is one of her best qualities.”