Tobin Heath’s injury-plagued spell at Arsenal was cut short yesterday after the forward left the club by mutual consent.
The 33-year-old picked up a hamstring injury in training last week, ruling her out for the rest of the season.
As a result, Heath has been allowed to return to the United States and focus on her rehabilitation.
With fans left wondering where the two-time World Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medallist will play next, GiveMeSport Women takes a look at the options.
Racing Louisville currently have the playing rights for Heath. The club selected the forward and her US teammate Christen Press in the NWSL expansion draft in 2020, but the pair headed to the Women’s Super League to play for Manchester United instead.
Heath could now opt to stay with Racing Louisville and finally make her debut for the team. She may be put off by where the side placed last season, however. They finished ninth, just six points off Kansas City at the bottom of the table.
A player of Heath’s calibre may be seeking to join a team who can challenge for the NWSL title.
Angel City FC
Instead of staying at Racing Louisville, Heath could ask the club to trade her rights to another NWSL team.
It’s a real possibility she could move to Angel City FC, who are set to make their NWSL debut this season. The club is co-owned by a host of Hollywood stars, including Natalie Portman, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria and Jessica Chastain.
The move would see Heath reunited with Press, her former Manchester United teammate.
San Diego Wave
Alternatively, Heath could move to another NWSL expansion team – San Diego Wave. In this scenario, the forward would be able to work again with former Manchester United manager Casey Stoney.
Heath has raved about Stoney’s credentials as a manager, claiming the reputation of the former England defender was her motivation for signing with the Red Devils.
As a result, it is not impossible to see Stoney convincing Heath to join her in San Diego.
Return to Europe
It’s fair to say Heath’s move to Manchester United in 2020 was unexpected, and her transfer to Arsenal last year was also a shock.
Heath is now expected to continue her playing career in the US, but she could surprise everyone again by announcing a return to Europe.
She could well come back to the WSL, or she could seek a new challenge in France, Spain or Germany.
Heath might decide to announce her retirement in the coming months. The star struggled with injuries during her respective spells at Manchester United and Arsenal, and she has been unable to put together a consistent run of games.
It is not known whether Heath will be able to return to fitness in time for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship in July. The tournament is a qualifier for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
If Heath misses out on the tournament, she may find it hard to break back into a national team packed with emerging talent. This, alongside her injury struggles, may prompt the American to call time on her illustrious playing career.