Cloe Lacasse, Arsenal’s latest summer signing, has not had a particularly straight-forward route to the top. Her arrival in north London, confirmed on Thursday, has become the latest chapter in what she herself describes as an "unorthodox" journey, one which has included five years in Iceland and an international debut at 28 years old.
“I definitely believe that everything happens for a reason,” she told GOAL back in 2021, having just received her first call-up for the soon-to-be Olympic champions, Canada. “I mean, hey, I'm meant to be here and that's why I'm here today and that's just my journey.
“It's a little bit unorthodox. I am proud of the steps I've taken. There's nothing I would change, to be honest. I'm happy with the route that my career is currently going and I'm excited to see what it has in store for me as well in the future.”
Fast-forward two years and Lacasse is now set to get her first taste of one of Europe's best leagues, after four excellent seasons with a newly-formed Benfica side saw her rack up a century of goals and win eight major honours. She could be at this summer's Women's World Cup, too, having been named to Canada's provisional squad.
The 29-year-old became a star in Portugal, one of the very best in the division, and had the chance to translate that form onto even bigger stages in both the Women’s Champions League and international football. Now, her task is to take it up another level as she joins the most successful club in the history of the women’s game in England.
So, who is Lacasse, what makes her story so different and what will she bring to Arsenal? GOAL introduces you to a player set to surprise the Women’s Super League…