The Women's Super League transfer window slams shut and a number of high-profile moves have given the football community a lot to talk about. Read on to find out more about Women's transfer window summer 2021.
The WSL is back for another season with a brand new multi-million pound rights deal. Women's football will be available to a bigger audience than ever before, after the league agreed TV deals with the BBC and Sky Sports.
were named the winners of the Women's Super League title on a points-per-game ratio. They go into the new season as the reigning WSL champions, after a stellar 2020-2021 campaign while Liverpool were relegated.
Replacing Liverpool are an Aston Villa setup packed with ambition, having recently hired former England forward, Eniola Aluko, as their director of women's football.
The Blues won 18 of their 22 league games, finishing the season on 57 points. They were two points ahead of runners-up Manchester City, and nine points ahead of third-placed Arsenal.
Manchester United finished just outside the Champions League qualification places in fourth, while Leicester City gained promotion to the WSL for the first time.
All 12 WSL clubs have tried to strengthen their squad this summer, with Chelsea looking to hold off what will be renewed competition with Manchester City and Arsenal,Manchester United
who are in a rebuilding phase, and others seeking to improve, and newly promoted Leicester City.
In this article, we discuss
Women's football 2021 summer transfer
women’s transfer news
, the players who joined in, those who left permanently, and the ones who joined or left any club on loan.
Moreover, we are going to take a look at their performances during the last season as well as the probable reasons behind them being transferred. Here are all the confirmed ins and outs up and down the WSL ahead of 2021/22:
Full name: Nikita Josephine Parris
Date of birth: 10 March 1994 (age 27)
Place of birth: Toxteth, England
Height: 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)
The first on the list of the
women's transfer window summer 2021
and one of the most talked about signings of this window is Nikita Parris' return to home soil. The England international rejoined the WSL ranks by signing for Arsenal from Lyon.
With talisman Vivianne Miedema still the key player of their attack, the addition ofNikita Parris
makes the North London side one team to watch this season.
Parris scored 13 goals in 20 Division 1 appearances for the French giants last term, playing across a number of positions in the absence of star striker Ada Hegerberg.
Arsenal's swoop for the Lioness star is a huge statement after their disjointed run in the 2020/21.
Arsenal signed the Lyon forward Nikita Parris for an initial transfer fee of £69,000, potentially rising to £86,000 if various add-ons are triggered.
The move marks a return to England for Parris, having previously leftManchester City
for Lyon in 2019. The 27-year-old won a domestic league title and the Champions League with the French giants in 2020 and, in her own words, heads back to England a better player than when she left.
Parris, who has also played for Everton in the WSL, is currently with the Great Britain squad preparing for the Olympics in Japan and will report for duty with Arsenal after the tournament.
“I'm very happy to be here,” the 2019 FWA Footballer of the Year told reporters.Arsenal
has an unbelievable history and I want to be a part of this. I want to achieve all domestic titles and compete in the Champions league here. I’m happy to be back in the WSL which has grown and improved so much since I left.”
The Gunners were in talks over a deal to sign Parris long before the new coach Jonas Eidevall was appointed, but the Swede said he is ‘very pleased’ about the transfer.
“She is a talented player and has a winner’s mentality and I’m looking forward to working with her once she returns from the Olympics,” Eidevall said of his latest attacking player.
It remains to be seen if Arsenal will still keep hold of the prolific Vivianne Miedema this summer as the negotiations over Parris initially included the possibility of Miedema joining Lyon.
Arsenal, who have already lost long-serving midfielder Danielle van de Donk to Lyon this summer, had wanted Parris regardless of the Miedema situation and were prepared to push for a deal for the England star even if the Dutch international was determined to stay.
Full name: Mana Iwabuchi
Date of birth: 18 March 1993 (age 28)
Place of birth: Musashino, Tokyo, Japan
Height: 1.56 m (5 ft 1 in)
Another player on the list of the
summer transfer window 2021
is Mana Iwabuchi who joined Arsenal after leaving Aston Villa. Arsenal announced the signing of 2011 Women’s World Cup winner and Japan internationalMana Iwabuchi
following her recent exit from fellow WSL side Aston Villa.
Iwabuchi has been a long-term target for the Gunners, pre-dating her move to Villa in January 2021, and finally completed a move to Meadow Park ahead of next season.
The versatile forward was a junior member of Japan’s squad at the 2011 World Cup, appearing as a late substitute in the final. She also played in the 2015 final and was part of the squad in 2019.
Before moving to England for the first time, helping keep Villa in the WSL, Iwabuchi had previously played extensively in Germany and was even a teammate of Vivianne Miedema at Bayern Munich for three years until 2017.
“I’m so happy to finally be able to announce that I am an Arsenal player!
“I know the club has wanted to sign me for a long time now, so it’s a great honor to be able to play for Arsenal. There are so many amazing players and I can’t wait to get started,” Iwabuchi told reporters.
Arsenal finished third in the WSL final table for the second year in a row in 2020/21, with an impressive run of seven consecutive wins in the final stretch of the season not enough to close the gap on Chelsea and Manchester City after a poor winter period.
However, the expanded Champions League means that Arsenal will return to European football, with a much bigger prize pot and revamped format, including a group stage for the first time, making it an important year to be back in the competition.
Jill Roord and Leonie Maier have left the club so far this summer. Jonas Eidevall joined the club as the new head coach of Arsenal women’s team.
The 38-year-old Eidevall joined from the Swedish club Rosengard, who reached the quarter-finals of the Women’s Champions League last season, and succeeded Joe Montemurro.
Full name: Aniek Nouwen
Date of birth: 9 March 1999 (age 22)
Place of birth: Helmond, Netherlands
Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 8 in)
Chelsea have already strengthened ahead of the 2021/22 WSL season by securing a pre-contract agreement with PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands defenderAniek Nouwen
Netherlands defender was the first new face to join the back-to-back reigning WSL champions this summer and manager Emma Hayes called the 22-year-old an ‘exciting addition’ to the squad.
Nouwen, who has spent her whole career to date at PSV after making the breakthrough as a teenager, signed a long-term three-year contract with Chelsea until 2024. She is one of the best young defenders in the world.
“There were other clubs who were interested, but I made my decision to join Chelsea pretty fast!” she told her new club’s official website.
“To play in the English league has always been a dream for me as it is the best competition and it provides the best opportunity for me to develop even more.
“I’m very honored and proud to become a Blue and I can’t wait to be a part of this winning team. I want to win prizes and play in the big games. I’m looking forward to joining up with the team, it’s all going to be very new but I’m really excited.”
Nouwen, a noticeable name on the list of
women's football 2021 summer transfer
, has played more than 100 games for PSV and made her senior international debut in 2019.
“Not only does she bring a wealth of league and international experience for her age, she is also very composed on the ball and her physicality will certainly suit the English league,” Hayes said.
“I have no doubt Aniek is one of the best young defenders in the world and has a very bright future ahead of her with us. We cannot wait to welcome her to Cobham this summer.”
Full name: Lisa Catherine Evans
Date of birth: 21 May 1992 (age 29)
Place of birth: Perth, Scotland
Height: 166 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Position(s): Winger, Forward, Wing-back, Full back
Arsenal's Lisa Evans joined fellow Women's Super League side West Ham United on a season-long loan deal.
The Scottish winger departed in hope of more regular football in east London after not playing as much as she would have liked.
The versatile full-back only made four starts in the WSL last season due to her injury problems and fell behind Noelle Maritz and Anna Patten in the pecking order.
However, she did net a hat-trick in the FA Cup against north London rivalsTottenham Hotspur
as the Gunners claimed a 4-0 victory.
Evans joined Arsenal in 2017 fromBayern Munich
and made 95 appearances for the club scoring 15 goals.
During her first season in north London Evans scored two goals in 18 games and was part of the side that won the 2017/18 Continental Cup.
Evans picked up 12 trophies during her career so far and in her second season in north London made 18 league appearances as the Gunners secured the 2018/19 WSL title.
During that title-winning season, she moved from right-back after previously playing as a winger.
On signing for West Ham she said, "I’m really looking forward to the season ahead with West Ham United.
"The move came about pretty quickly and when I saw the facilities and met the staff and some of the girls here at the club, it was an opportunity that was too good to turn down, I’m really excited for the season ahead.
"It’s a really close-knit group here and everyone has been so lovely in welcoming me to the club, so I’m really looking forward to what we can achieve going forward."
Full name: Tobin Powell Heath
Date of birth: May 29, 1988 (age 33)
Place of birth: Morristown, New Jersey, U.S.
Height: 5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Position(s): Winger / Forward
The most important one on the list of the women's transfer window summer 2021 is Tobin Powell Heath. Arsenal confirmed the signing of USWNT star Tobin Heath ahead of the start of the WSL season. The USA forward Tobin Heath was available on a free transfer having left Manchester United earlier this summer.
The 33-year-old is World Cup winner and two-time Olympic champion, and recently spent time in England with Manchester United - for whom she scored four goals in 11 appearances in all competitions.
The bulk of Heath's career has been spent across the pond in the NWSL, where she spent seven years with the Portland Thorns.
Speaking to the club's official website following the announcement, Arsenal Women's head coach Jonas Eidevall said, “Tobin’s record speaks for itself. She’s an incredibly talented player who will bring so much experience to our squad.
"This is an exciting time for the club, and I’m delighted we could secure Tobin’s signing as we prepare to kick off the new season at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.”
The Gunners will be hoping the signings of Heath, Nikita Parris, and the retention of WSL's all-time top scorerVivianne Miedema
will mean they challenge Chelsea at the top of the table this season, after nine points adrift of their cross-city rivals last season. Heath will wear the number 77 shirt at the club.
Full name: Simone Boye Sørensen
Date of birth: 3 March 1992 (age 29)
Place of birth: Denmark
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Arsenal completed the signing of Bayern Munich and Denmark defender Simone Boye Sorensen, making the experienced 29-year-old their third new arrival of the summer as they prepare to re-enter the Women’s Champions League this season.
Boye has a high level of experience in the Champions League from her time with Bayern,Rosengard
, and Brondby, while she also played for Denmark in the final of Euro 2017. The center-back previously played under new Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall at Rosengard.
“It feels really good to be here. I needed a new start and I'm grateful that Arsenal reached out to me. I'm very excited to get started. It's been a while coming now so I'm looking forward to it,” Boye told her new club’s official website.
Eidevall commented, “Simone is an experienced defender who bring a strong attitude and mentality to the team on and off the pitch. I am sure that she will be a great fit to the squad and we are looking forward to working with her.”
Arsenal have already signed forwards Mana Iwabuchi and Nikita Parris from Aston Villa andLyon
respectively since the end of last season, bringing enormous quality and experience up front.
Both players were involved in the Olympics in Japan. Iwabuchi scored for Japan on matchday one to rescue a point with a late equalizer against Canada, while Parris came off the bench for Great Britain in their 2-0 win over Chile and played a part in the second goal.
Influential midfieldersDanielle van de Donk
and Jill Roord have both left Arsenal this summer. The former was linked up with Lyon, while the latter moved to Germany to join Wolfsburg.
Leonie Maier moved on to an ambitious Everton and talented teenager Ruby Mace was poached by rivals Manchester City.
Full name: Lauren James
Date of birth: 29 September 2001 (age 19)
Place of birth: England
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75m)
Chelsea have completed the signing of England Under-19 international Lauren James from Manchester United, with Hannah Blundell moving to the Red Devils as part of the deal.
' transfer to Chelsea is a huge move for the Blues – not because they need the attacking firepower, but because it shows just how strong the lure of Emma Hayes is.
After winning a second consecutive WSL title and finishing as runners-up in the Champions League, Chelsea will want to push for their first European title.
Acquiring 19-year-old star James after she made history on numerous occasions for Manchester United means the Blues now have even more threat in an already frightening front three.
James spent time in the Blues' academy as a youngster before moving to London rivals Arsenal and then Manchester United.
The forward was understood to have passed a medical at Chelsea earlier this month ahead of a proposed move, and Chelsea have now taken to their official website to confirm her arrival.
"Chelsea Women are delighted to confirm the signing of young forward Lauren James on a four-year deal," the statement read.
"James was part of the Chelsea academy from Under-10s to Under-14s and re-joins the club from Manchester United ahead of our 2021/22 Barclays FA Women’s Super League season."
James provided a brief statement expressing her delight at having re-joined the club and said she can't wait to kick off the new season in front of the fans.
"It’s a great feeling to come back home, to a great club, the club I started at the age of six," she said. "To be able to play for the first team now and come back here to Emma and the rest of the group is a great feeling.
"I’m excited to get started and I can’t wait to meet all the fans at Kingsmeadow when the new season kicks in."
Following confirmation of James' arrival, Chelsea boss Emma Hayes claimed everyone at the club is looking forward to watching the forward develop.
"When the opportunity came up to sign her, we felt now was the right time to bring her back to the club," she said. "We’re excited to see how she develops in the coming years and look forward to welcoming her to pre-season training."
The deal sees Blundell move in the opposite direction - as well as Chelsea forking out £50,000 according to The Athletic - and she took the opportunity to express her joy at finally being announced as a United player.
“I’m really excited to be joining this great club and I’m looking forward to being part of the journey with this team," she told United's official website.
"I believe Manchester United can be successful and win trophies, and I will do everything I can to help bring success to the club. I’m just happy to finally be a United player and I can wait to meet all the staff, players, and especially the fans!”
Full name: Khadija Monifa Shaw
Date of birth: 31 January 1997 (age 24)
Place of birth: Spanish Town, Jamaica
Height: 1.82 m (5 ft 11+1⁄2 in)
With Chloe Kelly out of action with an ACL injury,Manchester City
immediately took to the transfer market to find a replacement for this season.
Despite Paris Saint-Germain winning the D1 title, it was Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw ofBordeaux
who won the Golden Boot – boasting a stellar 22 goals.
The Jamaican international joined the attacking talents Ellen White and Lauren Hemp in sky blue as City look to chase down Chelsea for the title once more.
The forward made the move from French club Bordeaux, who finished third in the Division 1 Féminine last season. Gareth Taylor will undoubtedly be happy to have signed such an attacking talent.
Shaw was the top scorer in the French league for the 2020/21 campaign, netting an impressive 22 goals in 20 appearances. The 24-year-old has also proven herself to be a formidable force on the international stage.
Full name: Jessica Lucy Sigsworth
Date of birth: 13 October 1994 (age 26)
Place of birth: Doncaster, England
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.72 m)
are bringing an exciting squad into the WSL following their promotion from the Championship last term.
The Foxes have wasted no time in snapping up talent from England's top flight, including ex-Man United forward, Jess Sigsworth.
They already have star striker Natasha Flint in their ranks, so the addition ofSigsworth
could create a dangerous duo up front.
The 26-year-old will be eager to get some first team minutes under her belt and, after being mainly a rotational player for United last season, will want to show why she should be one of the first names on the team-sheet.
Sigsworth commented, "It's a club with a massive ambition. They did extremely well in the Championship. I'm looking forward to being a part of this journey."
Sigsworth has represented England at Under-17, U-19, U-20 and U-23 level.
Full name: María Victoria Losada Gómez
Date of birth: 5 March 1991 (age 30)
Place of birth: Terrassa, Catalonia, Spain
Height: 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Manchester City made former Barcelona captainVicky Losada
their third new signing of the summer after teenage defender Ruby Mace and Jamaica striker Khadija Shaw.
Having lost United States midfielders Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle at the end of last season, City are keen to strengthen their squad in order to wrestle WSL dominance away from Chelsea, and have now brought former Arsenal favorite Losada back to England.
Losada signed a two-year contract at the Etihad Campus to wear the number 17 shirt. The 30-year-old Spain international recently ended a five-year stint atBarcelona
- her third spell at the club where she started her career. It culminated in a historic Champions League triumph, sealing an impressive treble during a momentous season for the Spanish club.
“As soon as I had the offer from Manchester City, I didn’t have any doubts about it - I knew that it was time to leave Barcelona and close that chapter of my career after one of the best years of my life,” Losada told her new club’s official website.
“I’ve always said that I missed the English league – I feel like it brings out the best in me as a player. I am so excited to return to it now and be a part of this fantastic football club.”
Head coach Gareth Taylor commented, “We’re delighted to welcome Vicky to Manchester City. She is a player who has enjoyed an incredible level of success throughout her career so far and we're thrilled to have brought someone of her calibre to the club.
“Her winning mentality and desire to be at the top of her game matches our own ethos here at City, and the fact that she has already previously made her mark in the FAWSL speaks volumes about her adaptability,” he added.
During her time at Arsenal, Losada helped the Gunners win the Continental Cup in 2015 and the FA Cup in 2016. She was also named in the PFA WSL team of the year for 2016.
Full name: Ruby Mace
Date of birth: 5 September 2003 (age 18)
Place of birth: England
Position(s): Midfielder, Defender
Manchester City signed a long-term three-year contract withRuby Mace
, the talented midfielder who is the last one on the list of
Women's football 2021 summer transfer
. Man City secured the signing of England youth international and former Arsenal starlet Ruby Mace, showing incredible faith in the 17-year-old defender’s potential by handing her a long-term contract until 2024.
Despite her age, Mace played in the WSL for both Arsenal and Birmingham in 2020/21, spending the second half of the campaign with the latter. She made 16 appearances across all competitions for both clubs and is already one of the top rated young talents in the country.
Mace’s switch to City, who have produced players like Keira Walsh and Georgia Stanway from their junior ranks, will only serve to further her career. City also similarly signed Lauren Hemp when she was just 17 and the winger recently won her third PFA young player of the year award.
“As a 17-year-old, it's the biggest moment in my short career so far. I've got so much to learn and develop in my game and I feel this is the best environment for me to achieve my dreams,” Mace told reporters.
“Amazing players, an amazing club and amazing coaches! I'd also like to thank Arsenal for all they have done for me to get me to this point."
Head Coach Gareth Taylor commented, “We're thrilled to have added Ruby to our squad here at Manchester City - she's a talented player who we feel has a very bright future ahead of her.
“She's already proven that she can make her mark in the Barclays FA Women's Super League and we're really looking forward to working with her in the coming seasons.
“We've had a number of young players make their mark here at City in recent years and hopefully Ruby will be the next one in that long line of success stories.”