Mana Iwabuchi explains decision to switch Arsenal for rivals Tottenham

Ali Rampling
Iwabuchi has explained why she joined Tottenham on loan from north London rivals Arsenal
Iwabuchi has explained why she joined Tottenham on loan from north London rivals Arsenal / Claudia Greco/GettyImages

Mana Iwabuchi has explained making the most of her career and playing for a club where she felt wanted were key factors in choosing to move to Tottenham from north London rivals Arsenal.

World Cup winner Iwabuchi joined Arsenal in the summer of 2021, but after seeing her playing opportunities limited this term, has joined Spurs on loan until the end of the season.

The midfielder is a firm fan favourite with Gunners supporters, but has started only once this term - in a heavily rotated Arsenal side against Zurich in the Champions League - and has played just 121 minutes of first team football over the first half of the season.

"As announced, I have decided to play for Tottenham on loan," Iwabuchi wrote on social media. "I am fully aware of the rivalry between the clubs, and it was one of the toughest decisions to make in my football career.

"Though, my belief is to play for the club who really wants me, and I want to give 100% to the club and supporters. As my career end is nearing (I am getting old!), it's my passion and [my] decision was based on my objective to achieve.

"My decision to play for Spurs may have given disappointment to some people, especially to Arsenal fans who supported me from the bottom of your heart, and I am sorry for that."

The Japanese international is not the first WSL player to cross the north London divide, with Emma Mitchell, Viktoria Schnaderbeck and Gemma Davison all previously playing for both Arsenal and Spurs.

"I shall do my best anywhere, in any environment that isn't going to change," Iwabuchi added. "I am committed to give 100% for Spurs and for the future, and I really appreciate all to make me who I am today."