2020 is finally here (Happy New Year, guys!) and we can already say that there’ll only be one name on people’s lips when the FA Women’s Super League returns on Sunday after a three-week winter break. That name…
Chelsea’s newest recruit, who touched down in London less than 7 days ago, could be set to make her debut when Reading travel this weekend to Kingsmeadow. Arguably, the biggest name to ply her trade in the FA WSL, Kerr is expected to bring somewhat of a media circus with her, the hype surrounding a worldwide superstar.
But despite ending 2019 with 18 goals and 4 assists with Chicago Red Stars in America’s NWSL, plus 17 goals and 4 assists in Australia’s W-League, both campaigns ended with finals, but no silverware for her clubs. Her individual success has been clear, breaking records on both sides of the planet, yet, team titles have seemingly eluded Kerr since 2014. Undoubtedly, getting a title with Chelsea will be her first mission on English soil.
Widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, will undoubtedly be the headline act this weekend, there’s also much speculation around who will make way for her arrival. Probably, injury-hit England star Fran Kirby could be the one being sacrificed, who has made just 4 games this term.
Kerr has won the last 5 consecutive Golden Boots in the NWSL and W-League and is the all-time top scorer in both divisions, too.
She could start on the bench this weekend given the short turnaround since her arrival in England and given the limited time she has spent training with her new team-mates. But while many of the teams she has featured in have largely been built around her, Chelsea boss Hayes insists Matilda’s captain will instead ‘fit in seamlessly’.
Chelsea has both the pulling power and the finances to land a stellar signing like Kerr, (Erm… With a little help from a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike) but this weekend’s visitors Reading has more modest ambitions. With such signing, it’s pretty much assumed the Blues are aiming to turn around the situation and win the WSL once for all.
Sitting in 3rd place and 9 points above Reading, Chelsea are still the only side in the WSL with their unbeaten record intact. Now with Kerr in their ranks, their chances of maintaining that run until May have significantly increased.
Plus, WSL is going to be more interesting, as we’re probably going to see the rivalry between two superstars: Kerr and Miedema respectively. The Dutch striker’s crown as the FA WSL’s marquee player is under threat after all.
Anyway, we’ll need to wait until Sunday to find out what Kerr has to offer, and see if she’s really a turning point not only for Chelsea but the WSL’s growth as a whole.