Man City Women have bolstered their ranks ahead of the upcoming WSL season with the signing of talented striker Chloe Kelly from Everton on a free transfer.
The England international, rejected a new contract with the Toffees to sign for the Citizens on a three year deal. She will wear the number nine shirt at City, and is new manager Gareth Taylor’s first signing since taking charge.
The 22 year old started her career at Arsenal, scoring just 22 minutes into her debut against Watford in the Continental Cup in July 2015. She made a further 12 appearances for the Gunners, scoring two more goals, before heading to Everton on loan.
The club were in the WSL 2 at the time and Kelly made nine starts, netting twice, as Everton finished top of the table in the Spring Series. She then returned to Merseyside for a second spell when Everton were promoted to the WSL 1 in 2017.
She made the move permanent in January 2018 and hasn’t looked back since, playing 32 games and scoring 11 goals, earning plaudits for her terrific performances up front.
The majority of those strikes came in 2019-20 as Kelly enjoyed a stellar season. She bagged nine goals in just twelve games in the WSL before the campaign was abruptly ended due to the coronavirus pandemic as Everton finished sixth.
She declined to extend her stay on Merseyside, citing her need to challenge for trophies and to play in Europe as a determining factor in her switch to City.
Kelly is also experienced on the international scene having featured for the Three Lions from U15 level right through to senior level, making her debut for the Lionesses as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Austria in November 2018.
She was also part of the England U20 side who won bronze at the 2018 FIFA U20 World Women’s Cup and has since won three more caps for England.
Upon putting pen to paper, Kelly told City’s official website of her delight at joining the club:
“Manchester City are a hugely ambitious club whose aspirations match my own and as soon as I had my initial discussions with the staff, I knew there and then that it was the place I wanted to be.”
She credits new manager Gareth Taylor, who has taken the reigns after Nick Cushing’s departure, for persuading her to choose Manchester as her new home, stating:
“Having spoken to Gareth too after he joined the team, I could sense immediately what a great manager he is and I was excited by the idea of working with him.”
The signing represents a huge coup for Man City, who were cruelly pipped to the title this season on points per game by Chelsea, who had a game in hand before the curtailment of the WSL.
Taylor expressed his delight at the signing to City’s official website:
“She is an incredibly exciting young talent who has broken onto the scene in the Women’s Super League and the England set-up in recent years, but there’s still so much more to come from her.”
City also announced that defender Gemma Bonner has penned a two year contract extension, with the 28 year old telling City’s site:
“I’ve had a really good two years, especially last season. I played some of my best football with some incredible players around me, so I can’t wait to continue that journey.”
The Telegraph has reported that City are close to further strengthening their squad, having agreed deals for Lyon duo Lucy Bronze, who left City for France in 2017 and Alex Greenwood who previously featured for rivals Man United.
They signed short term contracts to allow them to play in the Champions League with the French champions but they are set to leave once the tournament is concluded in August.