With one more day left in the Women’s Super League transfer window, Sky Sports News reporter Anton Toloui assesses the window so far – and what it could mean for the season ahead.
Earps saga continues
Manchester United are damned if they do and potentially damned if they don’t sell Mary Earps this window.
If they cash in on the England No 1 to WSL rival Arsenal, as widely reported, it looks as though the club isn’t serious about its title ambitions.
Every player, however, has a price tag and it must have been tough to turn down a world-record fee for a player that could leave for nothing next summer.
Alessia Russo and Ona Batlle also both left Man Utd at the end of their contracts after months of negotiations with the club.
Expect this saga to continue in January.
Big window for Man Utd
The potential late addition of Everton defender Gabby George shows how Manchester United are going big this window.
Everton are reluctant to sell the player but Sky Sports News understands United have met her release clause of around £150,000.
Also signing Geyse – fresh from winning the Champions League with Barcelona – for a club-record fee and World Cup Golden Boot winner Hinata Miyazawa means Marc Skinner’s squad has exciting options up front.
But replacing Russo and Batlle is no easy achievement, especially as Man Utd prepare for their first Champions League challenge.
No one knows what to expect from this team this season.
Rich get richer
Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City are all stronger going into the new season.
Champions Chelsea have signed one of the best full-backs in the World in Ashley Lawrence, a Champions League-winning No 10 in Catarina Macario, one of USA’s most promising goalscorers in Mia Fishel and two international goalkeepers in Hannah Hampton and Nicky Evrard.
Yes, they’re replacing experienced pair Magda Eriksson and Pernille Harder but Emma Hayes’ squad is stacked with talent.
Russo may be Arsenal’s star signing but their other three new players could also make a huge impact on the league. Sweden centre-back Amanda Ilestedt shocked the world by scoring four goals on the biggest stage of all this summer, Laia Codina is a World Cup winner and Cloe Lacasse showed her attacking flair at Benfica.
Manchester City may have had a quieter summer but the one signing they have made is a massive one. Jill Roord, who the club spent a British record £300,000 to bring in, had a huge World Cup and has a WSL winner’s medal in her cabinet from her time at Arsenal.
After disappointing league seasons last year, could City or Arsenal be back on Chelsea’s level?
Will Brighton cause a stir?
It’s been all change at Brighton as Melissa Phillips prepares for her first full season as Brighton head coach.
Champions League winner Vicky Losada and former Man City, Wolfsburg and Lyon striker Pauline Bremer headline a strong recruitment drive on the south coast.
Danielle Carter, Megan Walsh and Victoria Williams are among a long list of experienced players to leave a club looking to do things differently season after a few years of mediocrity.
Best of the rest…
Aston Villa have replaced Hampton with an absolute star in Daphne van Domselaar, with Lucy Parker also hoping a move to the Midlands helps cement a place in the England squad.
Leicester have had a solid window but getting Janina Leitzig on a permanent deal after an impressive loan spell last season may be one of the best bits of business we see.
Liverpool have a new striker in town. Norway forward Sophie Roman Haug will hope to fire the two-time WSL winners back up the table.
Goals will be vital for West Ham too this season, which may put pressure on new signing Emma Harries.
The England U23 international showed real promise at Reading, it’ll be interesting to see how she settles at her new club.
The bumper January transfer window was merely an appetiser for what is around the corner for women’s football, which will feast on big-money moves in upcoming editions – with one leading agent predicting a landmark £1m transfer in the next 12 to 18 months.
And that’s not all. While the game has witnessed astronomical growth, sports finance experts Deloitte estimates the women’s game will hit the billion mark in the coming years as increased attendances, commercialisation and broadcast deals continue to go from strength to strength.
With the women’s transfer window closing on Thursday, Sky Sports’ Vicki Hodges examines the future of women’s football transfers and factors that can enable and sustain financial growth in the game.
The WSL starts on Sunday October 1 with six matches, including reigning champions Chelsea vs Tottenham live on Sky Sports at 5.30pm.
Some WSL sides have already begun their pre-season training, with England players expected to return to their respective squads in the next couple of weeks, before then regrouping for the Nations League.
After the Lionesses’ European Championship win last year there were record-breaking ticket sales across the WSL, with many hoping this summer’s World Cup campaign, where they reached the final, will bring even more eyes to the league.