Women's Football

The best WSL signings of the 2020/21 season - ranked

Jan 2, 2021, 12:30 PM GMT
Tobin Heath
Tobin Heath was one of a number of blockbuster WSL signings this summer | James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

The 2020 Women's Super League summer transfer window was a sight to behold, as a selection of the biggest names in world football headed for the UK shores in a series of blockbuster moves.

The 2020/21 WSL season has just about reached the half way mark, making it the ideal time to dissect the progress of each of the new arrivals.

Let's take a look at who the very best signings have been in the WSL this season.

10. Rachel Corsie

Rachel Corsie
Corsie his on loan from Utah Royals | Harry Trump/Getty Images

Birmingham were in a bit of a state in August; Carla Ward was appointed just 24 days prior to the start of the season, they had just eight senior players on their books and had only won two games during the entirety of the previous campaign.

Bringing in the experience of Rachel Corsie has been huge for the Blues' rapid transformation. The Scotland centurion has added some much needed steel to the Birmingham backline, helping her side keep three clean sheets in four games during October and November - and ever getting on the scoresheet herself against Bristol City - as Ward's side pulled away from the drop zone.

9. Alanna Kennedy

Alanna Kennedy, Lia Waelti
Kennedy is on loan from Orlando Pride | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

In a WSL transfer window like no other, it was plucky underdogs Tottenham who royally stole everybody's thunder with the addition of global superstar Alex Morgan on a short-term loan deal from Orlando Pride.

However, it has been a more understated loan arrival from Orlando Pride in the shape of Alanna Kennedy who has been Spurs' star signing. The Australian international has added an injection of world-class quality into the Spurs side, starting eight of their nine WSL and shielding the north Londoners' back four expertly with her tenacity, arial ability and reading of the game.

8. Ona Batlle

Ona Batlle
United signed Batlle from Levante | Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

Manchester United are reaping the benefits of their balanced approach in the transfer window, bringing in world class experience and exciting youth in equal measure.

One player who falls into the latter camp is Ona Batlle. Despite being just 21, the right back has already established herself as a first team regular, starting seven of the Red Devils' first 10 WSL matches and turning in a particularly eye catching performance during United's 1-0 win over Arsenal. Adventurous going forward and tenacious defensively, Batlle is the perfect modern day fullback.

7. Pernille Harder

SL Benfica Women v Chelsea FC Women - UEFA Women's Champions League Round of 32 - First Leg
Harder joined Chelsea from Wolfsburg | Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

It was difficult to decide which headline arrival to get most excited about during the 2020 summer window - but Chelsea paying a record fee to secure the services of one of the world's finest players, Pernille Harder, was unquestionable pushing for top spot.

In an already bustling Blues forward line, the Danish international has added another frightening dimension. Harder plays with such an elegance, her link-up play and intelligence are sublime and at times she has looked unstoppable. Her goal against Everton in November was simply stunning.

6. Claire Emslie

Claire Emslie
Emslie has been a very shrewd addition | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Everton were very productive in the transfer market for the second window in a row. Headline addition Valeria Gauvin had hit the ground running before sustaining a muscular injury in November - leaving Scotland international Claire Emslie to steal the limelight as their star signing.

The forward has chipped in with two goals and two assists, and her energy and vision have made her a valuable asset in the Toffees front four. Emslie has since made her loan move from Orlando Pride a permanent one, signing an 18 month deal with Everton.

5. Rachel Daly

Rachel Daly
Daly is on loan at West Ham | James Chance/Getty Images

West Ham have endured a tough start to the season, registering just two wins from their opening nine games. England international Rachel Daly signed from Houston Dash, fresh from leading her side to NWSL Challenge Cup glory in the summer, and has been pivotal in the two precious wins that they have picked up this season.

The versatile full back-cum-forward had a hand in West Ham's first and set up their winner during their 2-1 victory over Birmingham in November, and was on the scoresheet as the Hammers ran out 4-0 winners over Bristol City in December. With three goals already this season, Daly has been responsible for 23% of West Ham's goals this term.

4. Jess Fishlock

Jess Fishlock
Fishlock is on loan at Reading from OL Reign | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Reading made a real statement of intent with the capture of Jess Fishlock, the Wales talisman returning to the WSL for the first time in eight years.

The midfielder has featured in each of Reading's 10 WSL outings this season, netting a brace in the Royals' 3-1 win over Brighton in December. She's also chipped in with a further two assists this campaign, and her performances for Kelly Chambers' side saw her nominated for the WSL Player of the Month award for December.

3. Chloe Kelly

Chloe Kelly
Kelly has been top class | Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Manchester City snapped up the breakout star of the 2019/20 WSL season as Chloe Kelly opted to not re-sign with Everton but move to the Citizens instead.

The England international has taken the step up to one of the WSL's 'big three' in her stride, frequently looking City's most exciting, potent attacking threat. Kelly has four league goals this season - almost halfway to equalling last term's tally of nine - and her stunning effort from range against Tottenham in October is a goal of the season contender.

2. Tobin Heath

Tobin Heath
Heath has been a revelation | James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Manchester United are enjoying a dream second season in the WSL, sitting top of the pile and registering their first ever league win over a member of the top flight's 'big three'. Two-time World Cup winner and double Olympic champion Tobin Heath has been a real world-class addition.

The USA international has instantly taken to life in England, terrorising defences with her creativity and quick feet. Heath has four goals and two assists in the league thus far - including a thunderbolt to spark a comeback in November's Manchester derby draw - and was named WSL Player of the Month for November.

1. Sam Mewis

Sam Mewis
Mewis has been great to watch | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Just like her compatriot Heath in the red half of Manchester, Sam Mewis has effortlessly adapted to life in the WSL in the blue half.

The 2019 World Cup winner controls games single handedly. She has been absolutely unplayable.

Her athleticism and tenacity mean she is more than a match for the physicality of the division, but her technical ability, intelligence and passing range mean Mewis can dictate the pace of the game from the middle of the park. Watching her maraud forward is absolutely frightening. No WSL signing has had a more profound impact than Mewis.