Tottenham Hotspur Women have signed creative attacking midfielder Mana Iwabuchi on loan from Arsenal.
Mana is an incredibly fun and creative attacking midfielder. She’s also played as a second striker with Japan in a 4-4-2, and has featured at striker and winger throughout her career. No matter where she is on the pitch, she brings genius levels of technical ability–standout dribbling, immense intelligence, and solid passing to top it off. She also has a decent shot in her when called upon. Spurs fans may particularly remember her goal-of-the-season nominated strike for Aston Villa against us in 2021.
Spurs signed Chelsea star Beth England earlier in the January transfer window. It was a great start, but Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Aston Villa proved it wasn’t enough. Spurs struggled to get England the ball at times, and seemed overrun in midfield. A player like Mana will help with ball progression, and free up her fellow midfielders for more defensive work. If the reports are true, and Kit won’t be back until March, Mana will be crucial for us.
It’s always a surprise to me that Mana Iwabuchi hasn’t been lauded more on the international stage. For as technically brilliant as Japanese footballers are, she’s such a master of the art, possesses such a wonderful touch too— Sophie Lawson (@lawson_sv) March 5, 2020
Really hope we can see a little of the old Mana with increased playing time at Spurs, so much of her seemed to atrophy over the last year. With the World Cup creeping up, it's crucial for Japan that she finds some of her old rhythm as Nadeshiko need her seniority on the pitch.— Sophie Lawson (@lawson_sv) January 18, 2023
We’ll also be crucial for Mana. Mana has only played 29 league minutes for Arsenal. Though she’s had a few more in the Champions League (enough to get another eye catching goal, in fact), she’ll need more than that if she wants to get back to her best ahead of the 2023 World Cup.
I think we’re going to love watching her. In fact, I’m almost upset that we have to wait three whole days before we get to see her play (or maybe more, what do I know?). In the meantime, please enjoy this comp: