What new signing Dominique Janssen will bring to Man Utd

  • Dominique Janssen has joined Man Utd on a three-year deal
  • The defender joins on a free transfer after Wolfsburg exit
  • Netherlands international has previous WSL experience with Arsenal
Dominique Janssen is now a Man Utd player
Dominique Janssen is now a Man Utd player / Alexander Scheuber/GettyImages

The WSL transfer window is in full swing this week as clubs across the league ramp up their summer business.

This week alone, Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Mariona Caldentey and Liverpool have broken their transfer record to sign Olivia Smith from Sporting CP. Now, Manchester United are also in on the action as they unveil their first signing of the summer window.

Former Arsenal and Wolfsburg defender Dominique Janssen has joined the club on a three-year deal until 2027, with the option of a further year. The Netherlands international arrives having spent the last five years in the Frauen-Bundesliga.

News arrives as a welcomed boost for United and their supporters after a turbulent week for the club. Captain Katie Zelem and England goalkeeper Mary Earps both departed, while there also were reports the women's team will be forced to use portable buildings at the Carrington training base in order to accommodate the men's team while the venue undergoes renovations next season. 

Not only that, new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe bluntly admitted plans for the women's team are 'TBC' as things stand. To put it simply, it didn't rain, it poured in Manchester last week.

But attention can be shifted to new beginnings at the club as United confirm their first signing of the summer window. Janssen brings with her a wealth of experience at both club and international level.

Dominique Janssen
Dominique Janssen is one of the Netherlands' most experienced internationals / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Now 29, the defender spent her youth career at RKSV Wittenhorst, her local team in the province of Limburg in the Netherlands. In 2013, when she was still just a teenager, she joined SGS Essen in Germany, turning down the likes of Ajax and PSV in order to complete the move.

In 2015, at 20 years of age, she made the move to England to join Arsenal where she spent four successful years of her career. With the Gunners, she won one league title, one FA Cup and two League Cups.

Upon departing north London in 2019, she returned to Germany and signed for European giants Wolfsburg. There, she won two Frauen-Bundesliga titles and three German Cups.

Janssen is also one of the most senior members of the Dutch squad and was part of their Euro 2017-winning team under Sarina Wiegman. She has over 100 caps for the Netherlands and started their narrow World Cup final defeat against the United States in 2019.

Following news of her arrival in Manchester, manager Marc Skinner put the importance of her experience perfectly.

"Dominique is a proven winner, both domestically and internationally. Her winning mentality is an important addition to our team, and her notable playing experience will enhance our entire dressing room," the boss explained.

Signing a player with such pedigree at both club and international level cannot be understated, not least because the club have just lost two of their best leaders in Zelem and Earps.

Katie Zelem
Former club captain Katie Zelem was among the big name players to depart the club this summer / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

However, Janssen's arrival goes some way to restoring a sense of leadership among the players. Should United be able to reclaim their Champions League spot next season, her experience in the competition for Wolfsburg will also be incredibly valuable.

Janssen will bring versatility too. Having previously operated in midfield during her last spell in the WSL with Arsenal, she transitioned into an elite centre-back at Wolfsburg and for her national team, as well as being well versed at left-back too.

Where Skinner sees her best at United remains to be seen, but she will offer immense depth in multiple positions, if necessary. In defence, she will provide stern competition for Millie Turner as both players typically occupy the left-sided centre-back position. 

Although United have no European football in 2024/25, squad depth in defensive areas, given the injuries sustained last season, could be vital in ensuring they reclaim a top three place next term. 

The new campaign will, without a doubt, be one of United's greatest tests since their promotion to the top flight in 2019. With big names departing, it will understandably be a transitional year, yet, after winning the FA Cup only a matter of months ago, the weight of expectation will be heavy at Leigh Sports Village. Janssen's arrival, at least, is a step in the right direction.