Nobbs explains why she left title-chasing Arsenal to join Aston Villa

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Jordan Nobbs has left Arsenal to join Aston Villa (Image: Getty Images / 2022 The Arsenal Football Club Plc)
Jordan Nobbs has left Arsenal to join Aston Villa (Image: Getty Images / 2022 The Arsenal Football Club Plc)

Jordan Nobbs has revealed that the chance to play regular football was the biggest factor in her decision to leave Arsenal for mid-table Aston Villa.

Nobbs, 31, won every domestic honour during a trophy-laden spell at Arsenal, including three WSL titles and four FA Cups. But her 12 years at the Gunners came to an end on Thursday when she completed a surprise transfer to Aston Villa, for a fee understood to be around £35,000.

The midfielder, who signed an 18-month deal, has won 69 caps for England but has not played for the Lionesses this season. Nobbs is already training with the Villans and could make her debut against Tottenham at Villa Park when the WSL returns next week.

Speaking ahead of her first training session, the midfielder admitted it was a difficult decision to leave Arsenal but that the chance to play regularly was too good to turn down.

"It was difficult," Nobbs told Sky Sports. "I can't deny how much love I have for that club (Arsenal) they got me to where I am now. But I need game time. I think Villa is a great place to be and I want to help the team improve and be a big part of this squad now.

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"Last summer I first had conversations about it (leaving Arsenal) but it is the manager's decision to let me go. So I knew when limited game time came this season, I needed to be playing football. I need to get back in the England squad but also for my own mentality.

"I want to play and win games for a team and that made it a less difficult decision. It was a sad last day. I've known those girls for a very long time but with football you have to eventually move on. I'll never forget the memories I have at the club, but now I'm here for new ones.

"Of course the World Cup was a big factor. I don't think I've finished my England career yet, but I know it won't be an easy task to get in the squad. But I think coming to a place like this, where hopefully I can be a big part of this team... I think it was a good decision.

"My goal is obviously to try and get back involved leading into the summer."

Nobbs explains why she left title-chasing Arsenal to join Aston VillaJordan Nobbs struggled for regular starts this season at Arsenal (Photo by Alex Burstow/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

One of the longest-serving members of the Gunner squad, Nobbs - who scored 81 times in 270 appearances for the club - also posted an emotional open letter to Arsenal supporters online following her departure. The club legend stated that despite leaving, Arsenal 'will always be home' and that she had shed tears in recent days once she knew the move was imminent.

Writing on Arsenal.com, Hobbs admitted she had "cried a lot" and writing her message had "dug up a lot of really special, important and emotional memories." She continued: "I said my goodbyes to my teammates on Tuesday and I cried from the second I walked in, to the second I left, because this is my home. It’s everything I’ve known for the past 12 years and now I’m having to say goodbye. I know it’s not really goodbye, but this part of my life is over now and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

"I’m leaving the love of my life behind and that’s something really quite scary for me. But I’ve got no regrets in my mind because it’s been the perfect fairytale and I’ve achieved everything I ever wanted to and a whole lot more."

Addressing the fans, she added: "You honestly mean everything to me. You’ve all been such a key part of my life and I’ve wanted to go around and say thank you to each and every one of you because it’s a family here and we’re all part of the ups and downs together.

"The past year and a half have been difficult for me, you all know that, but there’s never been a moment where I haven’t felt loved and appreciated, and I think that’s all you can ever ask for in this world."

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Jack Lacey-Hatton

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