185 appearances…and counting.
125 goals – with more to come.
For a striker, these figures are outstanding.
For a Number 10?
They’re outlandish. But for Kim Little, this is simply her career at Arsenal thus far – and her brilliance is on display every week – such is her level of consistency.
Arsenal Women’s Scottish captain is something truly special. Her skills allow her to ply her trade in the engine room of a midfield; tussling, barging and contesting duels, as well as further forward. And her finesse, vision and deft touch mean that her surname is the only small aspect of the player when it comes to impact.
So often the match decider, Little commands respect from every manager and player in the WSL – and the same goes for across the pond too, where her spell for Seattle Reign in the NAWSL was unparalleled. Little was the MVP in her first full season and her figures for the Reign in her three seasons showed a player who was comfortable amongst the best in the world.
Little returned to Arsenal in 2017 and injury struck. A knee ligament injury would lay her off for some time, but since returning to full fitness, Little has gone from strength to strength. This season, Little is among the top scorers in the league as she looks to have been given free license by new coach Jonas Eidevall – and defences have been unable to find an answer to stop her late, piercing runs into the box.
Little is the cool head chosen to take decisive penalties, the sage decision-maker who knows when to attack and when to defend. The armband is a natural fit for Little, who also led her country before her retirement this year. Amazingly, Little made her debut for Scotland at 16, and her then coach said of her burgeoning talent – “Kim is an exceptional talent. There’s no limit to how far she can progress. She has technique, speed and power, and she reads the game extremely well.”
The above still applies now, 14 years later.
Little is so often the player that delivers the goods when the match hangs in the balance. It takes a big player to take the game by the scruff of the neck, to find the bravery to take a risk and not settle for a point. Little is that player we look to. Her link-up play with fellow world-class talent Vivienne Miedema is responsible for nearly half of our goals thus far in the WSL. And when it comes to awards, both players are regularly amongst those nominated.
Without Kim Little, Miedema’s staggering goal haul would be impacted in a big way. Would the team still be in contention without the talismanic Scot? Hard to say, but the fact there is doubt tells its own story.
And talismanic is the perfect word to surmise the talents of the diminutive playmaker.
A player who has elevated her team and the entire WSL with her brilliance.