Manchester United forward Adriana Leon has revealed that she decided to join the club after a conversation with manager Marc Skinner about his philosophy and style of play.
The Canada international was confirmed as a United player earlier this month, signing a two-year contract with the club to extend her time in the WSL after a spell with West Ham.
Leon is United’s first new signing of an important summer in which attacking depth is primarily being targeted after narrowly missing out on a place in the WSL top three last season.
Skinner, appointed only five weeks before the 2021/22 campaign began, was largely working with an inherited squad in his maiden season and is now starting to put his own stamp on things. The gradual change and progression in terms of style alone was increasingly evident as the season progressed as the existing players became more in tune with his expectations.
“After speaking to [Skinner] and listening to him on his coaching philosophy and the way that he wants his team to play, I just felt that it aligned perfectly with my ambitions. After that call, I knew that I wanted to be a United player,” Leon told Canadian broadcaster TSN.
Leon, who played extensively in the NWSL before moving to England in 2019, revealed she has ‘always been a United fan’, citing Cristiano Ronaldo as her favourite player.
“It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. It’s a team that, in my opinion, you can’t say no to. It just felt like the right time to make that change, especially with the World Cup next year. I was looking to join a competitive club, an ambitious club, and I just felt like United was the right place,” she said.
On top of already announcing the arrival of Leon, United have also signed veteran WSL striker Rachel Williams and are believed to be close to a deal for Arsenal’s Nikita Parris.
Leon is currently in action with Canada at the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship, where the reigning Olympic champions will play in a semi-final against Jamaica on Thursday.
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