The Highest Profile Exits During the 2020 WSL Transfer Window

Anita Asante
Anita Asante is one of a number of high profile WSL players to depart her club this summer | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

The WSL transfer window opened on 19 June and the English top flight has not been shy of a statement signing in recent seasons.

Chelsea snapped up Australian superstar Sam Kerr in January, while Everton signed England international Izzy Christiansen from Lyon.

Manchester City have upped the ante this summer, with Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood poised to join the club once Lyon’s Champions League campaign concludes.

As contracts tick down, a selection of high profile players have opted to not sign fresh terms and will be moving on to pastures new this transfer window. Let’s take a look at the most high profile exits.

Chloe KellyChloe Kelly
Kelly hit some screamers for Everton last season | Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Kelly was the only individual nominated for the WSL Player of the Season Award who did not play for one of the big three – so she immediately upped sticks and moved to one of the big three.

The forward hit nine goals for Everton last season and forced her way back into the England squad, but opted to not renew her contract on Merseyside and instead move to Manchester City, in one of the biggest transfers of the summer window thus far.

Ramona BachmannRamona Bachmann
Bachmann primarily featured from the bench for Chelsea this season | Visionhaus/Getty Images

The Swiss star has called time on her three-year spell at Chelsea to return to Wolfsburg – the club she left to join the Blues back in 2017.

Bachmann enjoyed two excellent seasons at Chelsea, grabbing a brace in the 2018 FA Cup final, but fell out of favour during the 2019/20 campaign due to the wealth of attacking options at Emma Hayes’ disposal.

Georgia Stanway, Anita AsanteGeorgia Stanway, Anita Asante
Former Chelsea defender and midfielder Asante earned 70 caps for England | James Chance/Getty Images

The versatile Asante has departed Chelsea for the second time in her career, having first left the club midway through the 2008/09 season.

Her second spell has been limited by injuries, rupturing her ACL on international duty in March 2018, and suffering a muscular injury during her first start of the 2019/20 season.

Having played in Sweden and the States, there’s no telling what Asante’s next move could be. However, at the age of 35 and having already begun building a media career for herself, the WSL may have seen the last of the England stalwart.

Pauline BremerPauline Bremer
Bremer was hugely prolific for City this season, but was not a guaranteed starter after Ellen White returned from injury | Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

Manchester City’s top scorer for the 2019/20 campaign is heading back to her native Germany after three years at the Academy Stadium.

Bremer hit 10 goals in the WSL last season, but was often forced to sit on the bench and play second fiddle to Ellen White during City’s headline fixtures. The 24-year-old announced she was joining Wolfsburg for the 2020/21 season in February.

Tessa WullaertTessa Wullaert
Wullaert has been in and out of the City team this season | Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

The Belgian international departs Manchester City after two years at the club, helping the Citizens win the double during the 2018/19 campaign.

However, Wullaert was used more sparingly during the 2019/20 season and opted to depart at the end of her contract. Her next destination is yet to be announced.

Danielle CarterDanielle Carter
Carter helped guide Arsenal to FA Cup glory in 2016 | Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Arsenal’s longest serving player announced her 11-year stay with the Gunners was coming to an end in June.

Carter – who hit a spectacular winner in the 2016 FA Cup final – has endured rotten luck with injuries over the past two years, rupturing her ACL twice in the space of 15 months. Her next club is yet to be confirmed, but WSL fans are craving to see a fully fit Carter back to her best and back among the goals.

rachel williams, gemma bonnerrachel williams, gemma bonner
Williams is one of the WSL’s all time top scorers | Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Birmingham’s last remaining senior players have all headed for the exits this summer following the departures of Aoife Mannion and Ellen White last year.

Williams – an England international and member of the Team GB squad at London 2012 – scored 43 goals in 94 games across two separate spells with the Blues. One of the most consistent and dependable forwards in the WSL, her next move will be interesting.

Kerys HarropKerys Harrop
The 2020/21 season will be the first time Harrop has played for anyone other than Birmingham | Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Long serving Birmingham captain Harrop has opted not to renew her contract with the club. Having narrowly avoided the drop last season, this is another telling sign that the Blues could really struggle next year.

Harrop had been a one club woman, making her senior debut in 2011 after rising through the Birmingham ranks. She was part of the Birmingham side that enjoyed a famous FA Cup success in 2012 via a penalty shootout victory over Chelsea.

Lucy Staniforth, Ramona BachmannLucy Staniforth, Ramona Bachmann
Staniforth was one of few remaining senior figures at Birmingham | Morgan Harlow/Getty Images

Arguably Birmingham’s star player and talisman, losing Staniforth is a bitter blow to the Blues. The creative midfielder had been with the club since 2018, making her England debut in her first season with the Blues.

Despite Birmingham’s struggles this season, Staniforth continued to get picked for England, such is her quality. She would be a shrewd acquisition for any WSL side.

Jade MooreJade Moore
Moore has swapped Berkshire for Orlando | Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Despite her defensive midfielder role, Moore was consistently a scorer of key goals for Reading. The 29-year-old was one of the WSL’s most underrated players, and was a pivotal, unsung hero during England’s journey to the 2015 World Cup semi finals.

Moore announced she was joining Orlando Pride in April, although her debut has been delayed as her new side were forced to drop out of the NWSL Cup after a handful of players caught coronavirus at a bar.

Jo PotterJo Potter
Potter has been ever dependent for club and country | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Potter was one of eight players released by Reading at the end of the 2019/20 season. The versatile midfielder and defender had been with the Royals since 2017.

Potter was part of England’s 2015 World Cup squad, putting in a shift as part of an unconventional back three as the Lionesses beat Germany to claim the bronze medal. At the age of 35, will she hang up her boots or does she have one more move in her?

Remi AllenRemi Allen
Allen has been an integral figure for Reading for the past four years | James Chance/Getty Images

Allen joined the long list of first team regulars departing Reading, bringing an end to her four year stay with the club.

The midfielder has been a key part of the Reading side that have comfortably established themselves in the WSL, and at the age of 29, she would be a smart signing for a number of top flight sides.


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