Kelly Smith backs Arsenal to return stronger and challenge Chelsea for WSL title next season
Arsenal legend Kelly Smith believes the Gunners will be stronger next season and can compete to win the Womens Super League title once key players return from injury.
Smith returned to the club last month to join Jonas Eidevalls coaching staff as Arsenal reached the Champions League semi-finals and battled to finish in the top three of the WSL, despite being depleted by injuries over the final weeks of the season.
Arsenal lost four senior players to ACL injuries last season in Leah Williamson, Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema and Laura Wienroither, as well as captain Kim Little to a season-ending hamstring injury.
The Gunners face an important summer in the transfer market as Eidevall looks to bring in reinforcements to the squad, while the news that Brazil centre back Rafaelle Souza will be leaving the club has given Arsenal another area to strengthen.
But Smith believes the younger players who stepped up over the final weeks of the season, such as midfielders Victoria Pelova and Kathrine Kuhl, will benefit from the experience and will give Arsenal additional depth as they look to compete with champions Chelsea for the title.