The women’s transfer window will remain open until the end of this month and, while it is still early, there is some eagerness by clubs to get deals over the line as the season restarts this weekend.
The game is likely to see similar impacts on budgets from the affects of the Covid-19 pandemic as has been mentioned in the varying tiers of the men’s professional game.
January’s window is not typically known for its big spend, most clubs are prudent with their budgets and do the majority of their recruiting in the summer window.
That said, this time last year records fell with the signing of Australian internationalist Sam Kerr by Chelsea, and fans and players alike will be eager to see what clubs can do this time around to provide valuable squad depth.
So far, the main headlines have seen loan deals turning into permanent ones.
Spurs have been busiest in order to ensure Alanna Kennedy and Shelina Zadorsky remain in London until at least May.
The pair have both spent the past few seasons in America’s NWSL, but signed loan deals in the summer to ensure they gave themselves a professional and competitive environment for the second part of the year.
Despite Spurs largely underperforming so far, both have expressed their delight at being able to stay with the club until the season is due to be completed.
Kennedy’s fellow Australian Emily Van Egmond has now also made her loan move permanent with West Ham.
My own circumstances saw some sports outlets link me with a move. For now, I will be returning to the US for the domestic season.
Things will, however, look very different this year, as Utah Royals was sold at the end of 2020 to a new ownership group in Kansas City.
The change will mean flying to a new home in Missouri to essentially start again, although the majority of the previous playing squad and a few staff members will remain with the team.
Kansas City is 1,073 miles east of Salt Lake City and will be an exciting yet challenging new adventure I am sure.
My loan agreement with Birmingham City has ended slightly earlier than originally planned, so I will now make it back to the US later in January to get settled into my new surroundings.
While it feels hard to leave Birmingham in the middle of a season, it was always the plan for me to return to America and I feel that it remains the best place for me to continue my football career, having spent some time in England’s WSL.
Birmingham remain one of the clubs who need to bring in players this window, and they have already managed to make one new addition to their depleted squad.
Greek forward Veatriki Sarri has signed from Sheffield United, having previously worked under manager Carla Ward, and she could make her debut as early as tomorrow.
Manchester City Covid outbreak casts doubt on continuation of women’s game in England
Manchester City’s Covid-19 woes continue, as it was announced earlier in the week four of the women’s senior team have now returned a positive test following the Christmas break.
Their FA WSL fixture against West Ham this weekend is postponed as a result.
The outbreak is confirmed as being unrelated to the men’s squad, which has also suffered from a significant and growing number of positive cases of the virus lately.
Perhaps most worryingly, however, it does add to the concerns over the possibility of elite women’s football being able to continue.
Man City have been further depleted through another player having to self-isolate.
Meanwhile, their on-form US duo, Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle, are away on International duty ahead of their country’s double-header with Colombia later this month.
While there has been a growing number of outbreaks, which have continued to bring disruption to the ordinary running of the game, the optics of this one at Man City haven’t been great.
The group of players who are currently self-isolating after contracting the virus were known to have taken a trip to the United Arab Emirates over the Christmas break and the necessity of this journey is being questioned, given the Covid situation across the UK.
They are not the only club affected, Arsenal have also endured similar cases. They have confirmed there has been an outbreak at the club, too, although the extent of it is less clear.
Meanwhile, The FA are deliberating how best to continue the Women’s FA Cup. A number of lower-league teams remain in the competition, but are not classed as elite, therefore they are prevented from playing matches by current lockdown rules.
Claire Emslie is a Toffee
While Everton manager Willie Kirk is expected to be in the running to fill the vacant role as the new Scotland Women’s National team manager, there is another Scot who looks set to be staying with the Toffees long-term.
Claire Emslie confirmed she would make her loan move from Orlando Pride permanent, signing an 18-month deal which takes her through to Summer 2022.