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  • Writer's pictureSuzy Lycett

Your guide to the women’s summer 2024 football transfer window

The 2023/2024 season is now over. That means, onto the summer transfer season.


WSL clubs have already started their summer transfer window activity, announcing players renewing - and not renewing - contracts. Soon, the real business will kick off.


Debates rage around when player contracts are up. Rumours abound on what positions we need to reinforce, and how dare another club go for so and so player?!


Likes from leading journalists or follows of club accounts by players are taken as potential transfer interest (soon to be scuppered when Twitter hides who can see those likes...) The levels of detective work during the transfer period could crack multiple unsolved cases if applied in a policing career.


The group chats pop off with debate on who we need, where we need them, and why we should all calm down as we can’t change anything. 


Whether you’re a first timer to the transfer hijinks or a seasoned pro, here are some answers to your questions - including who Arsenal may be targeting as the rumours arise - and tips on surviving this summer's women's football transfer window. 


Updated: 27/05/2024


Contents


Goal celebrations vs. Leicester City at the Emirates

First, some general advice on transfer season, from your fellow fans of the game.


With thanks to members of the Supporter's Club for their contributions:


  • Don’t get too attached to the idea of any specific signing until it’s announced. It’s not done until it’s done and your club announces it officially in a shiny social media post. 

  • Don’t get too attached to current players either. Football is a cut throat business and, if a player isn’t giving the team what it needs, they could be unceremoniously cut loose. We’re all very emotionally invested in our team but it is a sport and a business at the end of the day. It’s important and healthy to separate yourself from it emotionally.

  • Much like the history teachers always teach you at school, analyse the source of the information or rumour. If someone says something is happening, what’s their track record? Are they known to have inside information? Are any other reliable names suggesting the same thing? (Read on for a list of credible sources to follow for the more reliable information!)

  • Keep an eye on the handle on social media. Some users attempt to imitate a known source by changing their username - so check that the handle matches!

  • Similarly, some journalists will have some fun with followers by liking social media posts related to transfer topics, knowing that they'll be closely analysed by fans (Tim Stillman, I'm looking at you!) Just know, once again, that nothing's official until a reputable source has confirmed it in an article - and I always wait for the club's announcement before taking it as fully read.

  • Watch more than just your own domestic league, if you have the time. Watching some of the other leagues gives you insights into players who have been rumoured to join your club, or others in your domestic league. It’s a great way to learn.


Finally, before we dive into the full FAQ, a word to the wise from Arsenal Women supporter and the closest person I know to being a scout without being a scout, Adina:


“Trust the team and trust the backroom staff and the process. Even if the vision doesn’t seem obvious to you or you think it’s a bad idea, the fans know only a small part of the big picture.
We don’t know the players personally. We don’t know if something is going on behind the scenes to make a player want a move or not. We don’t know the overall plan or picture for what the club wants the team to be like.
A player could not be great in certain situations but exceptional in others - and we just don’t know the overall plan for why certain moves happen. So, trust the people who do have the bigger picture to make the right moves.”

Transfer window FAQs


When is the women’s football summer 2024 transfer window?


The summer transfer window for WSL clubs will run from 24 June to 13 September 2024 - closing at 11pm for domestic deals and midnight for international deals. That means that, from 24 June, WSL clubs in England will be able to sign new players.


Other leagues across the globe have differing dates - as the dates of their seasons also change - which may mean that some transfers can be done outside of the WSL dates.


I will aim to add those dates in when I find them. They are not easy to find, hence why I decided to take matters into my own hands and create this guide!


Who is Arsenal targeting in the summer 2024 women's football transfer season?


First, to clarify - I have no insider knowledge on this topic. I can only comment on rumours that have yet to be fully substantiated. But this is the lay of the land. 


Every transfer season is different. The needs of the club will change as well as the required components to make up the best team in the face of growing competition from other teams. 


Before the end of the summer, the club announced that Vivianne Miedema would leave at the end of her contract in June - with no new contract offered.


This has been the topic of much speculation as, regardless of how you're building a team, it seems a no-brainer that Viv would improve it. However, that decision is made, and the club and the fans now have to live with it.


Vivianne Miedema at her last Emirates game in red and white

Jonas Eidevall, Arsenal Women's Manager, has since shared that the club is on the hunt for quality, not quantity this summer:


"We obviously identified things where if we can add quality, that would be great for us. It's not about adding quantity, that's not where we're at at the moment.
"Hopefully during this transfer window, we will have a couple of announcements to be made where we are adding quality."

Stina Blackstenius - our number nine and striker - has renewed her contract, a critical extension with Viv having left for pastures new.


Leah Williamson has renewed her contract - for how long, we don't know, but Tim Stillman shares it's likely longer than one year. Hopefully, those two renewals will show fans the belief the team has in the club's direction.



Right back Laura Wienroither is also up for renewal - and this one seems to be in the bag, if certain photos of her outside the Emirates can be considered hard evidence.


It's pretty common knowledge that we need a winger, to support and provide some competition for Caitlin Foord. Mariona Caldentey, currently of Barcelona, is the expected target.


We also let two of our goalkeepers go this summer - Sabs D'Angelo and Kaylan Marckese - so we're likely to bring another in as back up and to challenge Manu Zinsberger, our current no. 1.


Although there were rumours previously that Manchester United and England's starting GK, Mary Earps, would head to Arsenal, it now seems more likely that Aston Villa's Daphne van Domselaar could join.


Again, according to rumour, this may be a swap with our outgoing GK, Sabrina D'Angelo.


Sabrina D'Angelo in her last game for the Arsenal

How many players can be registered in the WSL - and how does this affect transfers?


In the WSL, only 25 players can be registered to play. That meant that in the 23/24 season, Gio Queiroz missed out on a slot, and spent six months on the sidelines, before heading out on loan to Madrid CFF.


I've been advised that Academy players don't count towards this total, if they're under 21 years old.


That means that, even with Viv leaving, we still have 26 contract players at the club. Amanda Ilestedt is expecting and can be discounted owing to rule 8.9.8 (b), but it still means one in requires one out.


Who can you trust to report legitimate information during the women's football transfer window?


There is a lot of false information readily available on social media. As interest in the women’s transfer window grows, so do the rumours, and normally those are from unverified sources. 


Here’s a list of some of the reputable names that you can follow on social media, with some assurance that the information they share is as accurate as possible (in no particular order, aside from citing Tim as the top journalist dedicated to the Arsenal Women's team):


  • Tim Stillman (@Stillmanator), Arseblog journalist. The go-to for all reliable journalism for Arsenal Women. If Tim doesn’t comment on it - whether in an article or on Twitter - you may want to check your source. 

  • Suzy Wrack (@SuzyWrack), Correspondent for the Guardian.

  • Tom Garry (@TomJGarry), Women's Football Reporter for the Telegraph

  • Rich Laverty (@RichJLaverty), freelance journalist, featured in The Athletic, Guardian, Times, and more.

  • Kathryn Batte (@KathrynBatte), Women's Football Correspondent at the Daily Mail sport.

  • Asif Burhan (@AsifBurhan), journalist for Forbes

  • Emily Keogh (@emilyskeogh), Women’s sports writer, ESPN

  • Sophie Lawson (@lawson_sv), writer for ESPN FC

  • Emma Sanders (@em_sandy), Broadcast journalist for the BBC

  • David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein), Correspondent for the Athletic


Feel free to reach out or comment to let me know if I'm missing any key and trustworthy contacts!


What does a club showing ‘interest’ actually mean?


Just because a journalist reports that a club is ‘interested’ in a player, that doesn’t mean the interest is mutual or a transfer will happen.


‘Showing interest’ in a player can mean anything from it being a done deal to a player was looked at but the club decided not to proceed with a bid. 


How do women's football clubs find potential players?


The Athletic previously released an article outlining how most clubs operate and how it differs in the amount of resources available, in comparison to the men’s teams.


I'd recommend reading the article in full, as it's interesting to understand where the women's game is at and the scope that club's have to find potential new signings.


In summary, Arsenal Women have a couple of consultants aiming to analyse the game of players and submit reports to help with recruitment. 


Some teams aren’t so lucky, and the managers and other coaches have to shoulder this task themselves. Agents therefore also play a bigger part in the women’s game than in the men’s, recommending their talent to clubs. 


At Arsenal, Manager Jonas Eidevall collaborates with the Head of Women's Football and the Recruitment Officer to choose who the club may target. 


How much media interest is there around transfers in the women's game? 


Rivalries led to unparalleled interest when Russo joined Arsenal. I've written about that before - the shock of a player going to a direct rival, on a free, and the booing at her return game to Manchester United.


Tim Stillman's article on Russo's transfer had only 150 fewer views than his article on the £105 million transfer of Declan Rice for the men's team.



Of course, this season's big story is Vivianne Miedema, the goat, leaving Arsenal on a free - likely heading to Manchester City, to strengthen their already strong team.


Scrutiny on players and clubs at this time is closer than it's ever been. Arsenal fans have a harder time of it than most, where contract lengths and therefore potential exits are unknown so anything can happen - or maybe it's better to be living life in a state of ignorant bliss.


Plenty of big name media outlets are now giving lots of column space for commentary on the topic.


That interest is only going to grow - so buckle up. There won't be a dull moment until mid September when the WSL window closes!

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1 Comment


bacardibarr1
May 28

The words from Adina about trusting the staff, the club and the process are so true- especially in relation to Viv not getting a contract. Too many fans slagging off the manager and club without knowing the full picture

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