The biggest transfers to WSL clubs this winter
The women’s Super League winter 2021 transfer window has closed, with many important – and in some surprising cases – transfers taking place in the division.
A handful of big names have left the league altogether, while others have arrived from overseas. There has also been a lot of movement between clubs within the WSL, making it an exciting second half of the season as players settle into new teams.
Here’s a look at 16 of the biggest transfers, to or from our, to WSL clubs this winter…
Kirsty Barton spent 10 years at Brighton, playing an important role in transforming the Seagulls into a WSL club. But she has now been loaned to Crystal Palace, which is in the middle of the women’s championship table.
Chelsea have added Sweden striker Zecira Musovic to an already stacked goalkeeper service to provide competition and cover for experienced duo Ann-Katrin Berger and Carly Telford.
Musovic previously played for Damallsvenskan giant Rosengard and was a member of the Swedish squad which finished third in the 2019 World Cup.
A lack of chances has seen Lotta Okvist leave Manchester United this month to return to her native Sweden, where she joins defending Damallsvenskan champions Kopparbergs / Goteborg.
Okvist was initially signed as a replacement for former United captain Alex Greenwood in 2019, but has struggled to establish himself.
Birmingham looked doomed for relegation in 2020/21 but Rachel Corsie, who was loaned out last summer, is a big reason the Blues have stayed out of danger. Its release, earlier than expected, is therefore a big loss.
The Scotland defender has been recalled by NWSL club Utah Royals, which ceased operations and moved to Kansas City ahead of the 2021 season.
Tottenham have taken on seasoned South Korea international midfielder Cho So-hyun from West Ham on an initial loan, with an option for a permanent transfer at the end of the season.
Cho is 32 years old and has over 120 international caps to his name.
Arsenal took over England Under-21 defender Anna Patten this month after playing college football in the United States.
Patten previously started his career with the Gunners but took the opportunity in 2017 to develop his career by attending Florida State University and then the University of South Carolina.
Manchester United have bolstered their defensive ranks by recruiting two-time WSL champion Maria Thorisdottir from title rivals Chelsea.
The Norway international had grown frustrated at Chelsea and the Blues felt it was best to let her go, even if she risked becoming a challenger.
The permanent signing of Australian midfielder Emily van Egmond from Orlando Pride following an initial loan is a big boost for West Ham.
Van Egmond has scored five times in all competitions for the Hammers in the first half of the season and is the club’s top scorer.
Dagny Brynjarsdottir is a signing statement for West Ham in what has been a pretty busy back-and-forth window this month.
The 29-year-old Icelandic international is a scoring midfielder who won the NWSL Championship with Portland Thorns in 2017. She has also played in Germany for Bayern Munich in the past.
Tottenham have added a proven WSL player to the center of their defense as they land England international Abbie McManus on loan from Mancester United until the end of the season.
McManus also played for Manchester City, winning six major trophies, but had lost his place to United this season.
Japanese forward Mana Iwabuchi is a true statement of intention for Aston Villa in his debut season as a WSL club as they look to step out of the relegation zone and consolidate their place in the top flight.
At only 27 years old, Iwabuchi made two World Cup finals for Japan and also played club football in Germany.
While landing the aforementioned Van Egmond on a permanent deal has been a major boost for West Ham, losing England player Rachel Daly at the end of her loan is a big blow.
Daly has scored five goals for the Hammers in all competitions, but returns to parent club Houston Dash for the 2021 NWSL season.
In addition to losing Daly, West Ham also decided to let Switzerland international Alisha Lehmann join Everton on loan for the remainder of the season.
Lehmann has been at West Ham since 2018 when she was 19 and bolsters an Everton side determined to keep pace with the top four. She featured prominently in the BBC series Team goals Last year.
Jill Scott established herself as one of the nation’s top midfielders on her first stint at Everton between 2006 and 2013 and is now, at the age of 33, back with the Toffees on loan until summer.
Few of the WSL players can match Scott for his experience at the highest level, with nine club trophies to his name and 149 England caps.
Manchester City signed the biggest signing of any WSL club this winter when it was confirmed that USWNT defender Abby Dahlkemper had agreed to join NWSL giants NC Courage on a multi-year contract.
Dahlkemper is one of the best center-backs in the world and was always present at the 2019 World Cup. She will team up with USWNT colleagues Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle at the Etihad Campus.
The transfer did not reach the peak of his career, seeking a club instead of the NWSL schedule erased by the coronavirus pandemic and just months after giving birth, but Alex Morgan is the biggest name in the history of the WSL. thanks to his loan to Tottenham, which is now over.
WSL fans haven’t seen much of Morgan, who has chosen to return to the United States, where his NWSL record is still held by Orlando Pride. But despite only a few appearances, her presence put Spurs on the women’s football map and brought WSL interest to a new level in the United States.
The only disappointment is that the two-time World Cup winner didn’t stay around long enough to do more on the pitch. But his departure is understandable.
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