Chelsea Women

Chelsea 2022/23 WSL season preview: How to watch, summer transfers & league prediction

Ali Rampling
2022/23 WSL season preview for Chelsea
2022/23 WSL season preview for Chelsea / 90min
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Chelsea head into the 2022/23 WSL season vying to win the league title for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year.

The Blues clinched their third successive WSL title triumph on the final day of last term, and have had a busy transfer window under their new ownership ahead of the upcoming season.

Can Emma Hayes' side continue their dominance of English football? Here's 90min's WSL season preview for Chelsea.


How to watch Chelsea Women on TV


Chelsea Women key players 2022/23

Star player

Sam Kerr arrived in the WSL to much excitement in the winter of 2020, having broken goal scoring records in the United States and Australia. Despite initially taking a little time to find her feet, she has finished as the league's top scorer in her only two full seasons in England to date.

The Australian international has netted 42 goals in 46 WSL appearances, with her superb movement, instinct and runs off the shoulder key to her scoring record. Notwithstanding her impressive goal return, Kerr is by no means a selfish player. Her link up play is among the best in the world, with her telepathic relationship with Fran Kirby particularly lethal during the 2020/21 campaign.

Although renowned for her razor sharp awareness from close range, Kerr netted a pair of stunning solo efforts from distance on the final day of the 2021/22 WSL season to ensure the league title remained in west London for a third consecutive campaign.

One to watch

Lauren James is regarded as one of the most exciting young talents in English football, but injury and fitness struggles limited the 20-year-old to a handful of appearances during her debut season with Chelsea following her switch from Manchester United. The 2022/23 campaign could see her blossom into a pivotal part of Emma Hayes' side - just as Jessie Fleming did last term after seeing limited minutes during her first season in England in 2020/21.

Blessed with flair and fabulous feet, James can change a game with a flick of a switch. The forward's strength, physicality and football brain have enabled her to hold her own in the WSL since she was 17, while her imagination makes her a player you cannot take your eyes off.


Chelsea Women manager

Emma Hayes celebrated a decade in charge of Chelsea this summer, and in that time the Blues boss has moulded the club into a women's football powerhouse. Chelsea had never won a major women's trophy prior to Hayes taking the hot seat - they have gone on to lift 12 during her tenure.

The 45-year-old spent two years as assistant manager to the great Vic Akers at Arsenal, and was part of the coaching team as the all-conquering Gunners won the quadruple in 2007.

A candid and authentic speaker, Hayes is renowned for her superb individual player management. She had numerous phone conversations with Sam Kerr over the course of two years before the Australian forward signed for the Blues, while Fran Kirby and Karen Carney have both praised the support Hayes offered them during difficult periods in their life.


Chelsea Women summer transfers

In

  • Eve Perisset (DF) - Bordeaux - details
  • Kadeisha Buchanan (DF) - Lyon - details
  • Katerina Svitkova (MF) - West Ham - details
  • Lucy Watson (FW) - Sheffield United - details
  • Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (FW) - BK Hacken - details
  • Jelena Cankovic (MF) - Rosengard - details

Out

  • Jonna Andersson (DF) - Hammarby - details
  • Ji So-yun (MF) - Suwon - details
  • Drew Spence (MF) - Tottenham -details
  • Poppy Soper (GK) - Charlton
  • Emma Thompson (FW) - Lewes - loan
  • Jorja Fox (DF) - Brighton - loan
  • Aggie Beever-Jones (FW) - Everton - loan
  • Grace Palmer (MF) - Lewes

A void was left at Chelsea this summer, as the unique Ji So-yun departed after eight years at the club. The Blues have brought in six new faces during Todd Boehly's first transfer window - five seasoned internationals and youngster Lucy Watson. The addition of the world class Canadian centre back Kadeisha Buchanan from European heavyweights Lyon is a particularly impressive piece of business.


Chelsea Women WSL history

Having finished towards the lower echelons of the table during the WSL's first three seasons, Chelsea are now the league's most successful side, with five titles (six including the Spring Series) in eight years. They became the first team to win the WSL three years on the trot during the 2021/22 campaign, sealing the title on a dramatic final day.

2011: 6th
2012: 6th
2013: 7th
2014: 2nd
2015: 1st
2016: 2nd
2017 (Spring Series): 1st
2017/18: 1st
2018/19: 3rd
2019/20: 1st
2020/21: 1st
2021/22: 1st


Chelsea WSL prediction

Chelsea have been the best side in the WSL for the past three seasons, and they've got even stronger this summer after an impressive transfer window.

Although Ji will be a huge loss, James will be like a new signing - in addition to the club's six actual new arrivals - and they could win the WSL title by a greater margin than last season.

Chelsea 2022/23 WSL prediction - 1st


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