What to expect in WSL transfer window

What to expect in WSL transfer window


Kristie Mewis, Stina Blackstenius, Janine Beckie and Jennifer Falk
The WSL January transfer window opens between 31 December and 28 January

The transfer window for the Women’s Super League opens on 31 December, so who might be on the move – and what do clubs need?

Will league leaders Arsenal add to their squad as they pursue the title? Who will Birmingham and Leicester bring in to try to secure WSL safety? And which players could leave on loan to get more playing time?

The window will close on 28 January – here is what could happen.

Who could be on the move?

After a busy summer window, it is expected to be much quieter in January but clubs are keen to add more quality – particularly in attack.

Swedish forward Stina Blackstenius was on Manchester United’s wish list in the summer and is expected to join in January from BK Hacken when her contract expires.

United might have to fight off interest from the United States for their England striker Alessia Russo. Former manager Casey Stoney, now at San Diego Wave, could try to take her. She has been unable to sign a player from United for six months under the terms of her departure, but would have to pay a fee for Russo, who remains under contract.

Manchester City’s Janine Beckie is attracting interest from the USA, while Finland international and Real Sociedad forward Sanni Maija Franssi is a target for a few WSL clubs.

Reading, Birmingham City and Leicester City are looking at young English midfielder Isabella Sibley, who has returned from a spell in the United States.

Norwegian midfielder Tuva Hansen and Denmark midfielder Emma Snerle will also move to England, with Reading a potential destination, while there are a few WSL clubs looking at Slovenian centre-back Lana Golob.

USA midfielder Kristie Mewis trained with Tottenham for a week in December before she was drafted by Gotham FC. She was said to be open to a move to London but Spurs would need to pay a high fee.

Kristie Mewis
Kristie Mewis’ sister Sam spent time at Manchester City last season

Coventry United were placed in voluntary liquidation, meaning their players are available, and there is interest in striker Katie Wilkinson from a few WSL clubs as well as the Championship.

Wilkinson played under Aston Villa boss Carla Ward at Sheffield United and could reunite with her in the Midlands, while Coventry United team-mate Rio Hardy has trained at Villa for a few days.

Arsenal and Scotland defender Lisa Evans could make her loan move to West Ham permanent.

Villa defender Natalie Haigh is among those who could be open to a loan move in pursuit of regular game time, while young Everton midfielder Grace Clinton could attract interest in a loan deal.

Leicester City are chasing an experienced goalkeeper with Chelsea’s Carly Telford and Manchester City’s Karen Bardsley among those being linked with a move. Telford was also the subject of enquiries from several clubs in the summer.

Sweden’s BK Hacken goalkeeper Jennifer Falk has reportedlyexternal-link received interest from a WSL club.

Striker Jeon Ga-eul has left Reading and will join South Korean side Sejong Sportstoto in the WK League.

What do clubs need?

Olli Harder, Lydia Bedford, Darren Carter and Kelly Chambers
West Ham, Leicester City, Birmingham City and Reading are all hoping to be active in the transfer window

West Ham are expected to be active in the transfer window and will be given funds but only if they get their preferred targets. They are said to be shopping for a forward and are willing to look around Europe.

Reading‘s priority was to bring in a central midfielder and a centre-back – they have already announced the signing of Denmark midfielder Sanne Troelsgaard.

Aston Villa have several targets as they try to bolster their attacking options. Players will also leave on loan in order to gain game time, including several talented youngsters.

To keep up their pursuit of Champions League football, Tottenham are expected to strengthen – and will have the money to do so.

Brighton may only strengthen in one or two positions but Everton, Birmingham City and Leicester City are expected to be busy in the market under new management.

Leicester City are said to be looking into at least one Serbia international, as well as an experienced goalkeeper. They could also see players leave on loan.

Arsenal may look to bring in a replacement for injured centre-back Leah Williamson, while Tobin Heath’s absence – plus the continued interest from other clubs in their main striker Vivianne Miedema – means they could sign another forward too.

Chelsea are not expected to be busy but could strengthen in one or two areas.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are expected to make a few signings, particularly in attack, while rivals Manchester City need cover for injured players and could be active.


Jean-Luc Vasseur and Aitana Bonmati
Everton boss Jean-Luc Vasseur (left) could look to France for new recruits – while Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmati is wanted across Europe

There has been interest from the NWSL – including Houston Dash and North Carolina Courage – in English-based players.

Everton boss Jean-Luc Vasseur said he could use his contacts in France, while Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall has previously shopped heavily in Europe.

Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmati has received offers from several European clubs, with WSL teams potentially among them.

Championship leaders Liverpool have agreed a deal with a new striker and could pursue a permanent deal for Chelsea loanee Charlotte Wardlaw.

Midfielder Mollie Green, forward Olivia Fergusson and goalkeeper Olivia Clarke are among those available from Coventry United who are expected to gain interest.

Several clubs could try again to bring in Chelsea striker Bethany England on loan, though the Blues are said to be reluctant to let her leave.

Leicester forward Natasha Flint also had interest from a number of clubs in the summer – including Liverpool and Aston Villa – but she is unlikely to move.

Which deals have already been done?

Sam Kerr signs a new deal with Chelsea
Sam Kerr won the FA Cup with Chelsea a month after signing a new deal

Reading have signed Danish midfielder Sanne Troelsgaard on a two-and-a-half-year deal until June 2023.

Australia forward Sam Kerr signed a new two-year deal with Chelsea in November, while young Russia defender Alsu Abdullina will join on a two-and-a-half year deal from Lokomotiv Moscow in January.

Manchester United also secured a new long-term deal with England international and record goalscorer Ella Toone in November, as well as Wales international Carrie Jones.


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