Arsenal: Katie McCabe hails Mana Iwabuchi as "unbelievable"

Arsenal player Katie McCabe has praised her teammate Mana Iwabuchi

Arsenal player Katie McCabe has described teammate Mana Iwabuchi as "unbelievable".

Iwabuchi joined Arsenal over the summer, moving from fellow Women’s Super League side Aston Villa. The Japanese star has impressed so far, scoring three goals in two Champions League qualifying matches.

McCabe went viral for her reaction to Iwabuchi’s goal during Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over PSV at the weekend. The forward had received the ball from Beth Mead’s corner, before turning, finding space, and curling it into the back of PSV’s net.

Arsenal’s Twitter account shared McCabe’s hilarious reaction to the goal. A screenshot from the camera in the PSV goal showed McCabe standing stock-still, her mouth open in astonishment as the ball flew past her. The caption accompanying the photo reads: "A story in two parts… Enjoy that one, Katie?"

McCabe has now told GiveMeSport Women just how impressed she has been by Iwabuchi.

"We didn't get Wi-Fi after the game, because we were in Moscow and travelling back to the airport, and then landed back in London and I’ve just seen the meme going around with my face just in shock," she laughed.

“Woah, yeah, what a finish. Unbelievable. That's what she's about, the finesse, she has the touch. She's just a class player, and to have those sort of additions in this team is really, really amazing.

"She'll obviously bring competition within the midfield and most attacking areas as well, which will make everyone have to be at the top of their game. She's a real gem, off the pitch as well, she's just one of a kind isn't she."

Katie McCabe racked up 11 assists in the Women's Super League last season

The 25-year-old McCabe has played as both a fullback and winger for Arsenal, but was mainly deployed in defence last season. Despite this, the Irish star still racked up 11 assists, the joint-highest in the league alongside Chelsea’s Fran Kirby and Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly.

McCabe revealed she was unsure where she would be played under new head coach Jonas Eidevall, but confirmed she still wanted to be known for her attacking prowess.

“When Joe started playing me at fullback, what was important to me was to maintain that attacking aspect of my game,” she said. “Obviously, be solid on the defensive duties, because ultimately I'm a defender, I'm in the back four and need to obviously keep clean sheets and do my defensive job well, but I really didn't want to lose what I bring attacking-wise to the game.

"Last year, under Joe, the way he wanted us to play kind of helped me bring that to the team. Obviously, with Jonas he has his new ways of playing, but ultimately, he won't want to restrict that either so it'll be an exciting season for sure."

Arsenal kick off their Women’s Super League campaign against Chelsea on September 5th. Tickets for the match at the Emirates can be found here.

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