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White thrilled by Arsenal return

England striker Ellen White has signed for Arsenal LFC, who she left five years ago aged 16, and says playing in the UEFA Women's Champions League "will be unbelievable".

Ellen White shows off her new shirt
Ellen White shows off her new shirt ©Arsenal FC

Arsenal LFC have strengthened ahead of their UEFA Women's Champions League bid with the signing of England striker Ellen White.

The 21-year-old joins from Leeds United LFC, who will not be among Arsenal's seven opponents in the new FA Women's Super League launching next spring. White was on Arsenal's books until the age of 16 before a move to Chelsea LFC, and in 2008 the forward joined Leeds, scoring twice in last season's FA Women's Premier League Cup final win against Everton.

White, who helped England to the 2007 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship final, scored on her senior debut in the FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier against Austria in March and is delighted to return to Arsenal. "It's like I'm coming back home," she told Arsenal.com.

"I was here when I was eight until I was 16. It was a really hard decision to leave because I'd been here for eight years and had grown up with the whole team and with Arsenal. So it was a big decision to move but I think it did pay off. Obviously I'm back home now and this is the only club I wanted to come back to after Leeds broke up, so I'm delighted."

Arsenal claimed their seventh straight English title last season, meaning the 2007 UEFA Women's Cup winners will enter the UEFA Women's Champions League in the round of 32 on 22/23 September and 13/14 October, discovering their opponents on 19 August. White will have the chance to make her UEFA club competition debut.

"The Champions League is a massive deal for me," White said. "I wanted to win things and move to a club where we have the prospect of winning things. I won the League Cup with Leeds and I want more. I want to win more things and with Arsenal we have a great setup, a great team and playing in the Champions League will be unbelievable."

Gunners general manager Vic Akers added that White will not be their only close-season addition. "Ellen is the first of three signings we look like making," he said. "One of the others is an all-rounder, the third is a midfield player. They are big names in the women's game so that's nice."