Introducing: The New Signings Made by Manchester United Women This Summer

Lucy Staniforth
Lucy Staniforth is one of three new Manchester United signings | Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Manchester United have been busy in this summer's WSL transfer window, as they attempt to bridge the gap between themselves and the top three ahead of their second season in the top flight.

Casey Stoney's side finished as the 'best of the rest' during their maiden season in the WSL, but were 13 points behind third-placed Arsenal.

The signs that Stoney is building a side to challenge at the summit of the WSL have been clearer than ever this summer, with a number of players who helped United to win promotion from the Championship during the club's inaugural season departing, and only the very best having their contracts extended.

The Red Devils have also brought in three new recruits: Lucy Staniforth, Ona Batlle and Ivana Fuso. So who are they, and how will they fit in at United next season?

Lucy Staniforth

United's first signing of the summer was a big one, as they captured England international Lucy Staniforth (as predicted by 90min in June) following the expiration of her Birmingham contract.

Staniforth needs little introduction for WSL fans, having played in the top flight of English football for the past 11 years with Sunderland, Lincoln, Bristol, Liverpool and Birmingham.

The move seems like the perfect fit for both parties; the 27-year-old is one of the most exciting, technically gifted attacking players in the country, but has never enjoyed a sustained period with one of the country's top women's sides. Likewise, United are attempting to establish themselves as just that.

Staniforth predominantly operates in the number 10 role, and will likely slot in ahead of Jackie Groenen and Katie Zelem in what is shaping into a pretty exciting looking midfield three for the Red Devils.

Ona Batlle

United's second signing of the summer was 21-year-old Ona Battle, following the conclusion of her Levante contract.

Batlle - a product of the Barcelona academy - operates at full-back, and will provide competition for Amy Turner, Lotta Ökvist and Martha Harris - who recently signed a new contract with the club.

The defender made her international debut for the Spain senior side in May 2019, but did not make her country's World Cup squad.

Batlle is a typical modern full-back; fast, good on the ball, and thrives going forward. She could be the candidate to fill the void left after Alex Greenwood's departure last summer.

Ivana Fuso

United's most recent acquisition is 19-year-old Ivana Fuso, who joins the club from FC Basel.

Fuso had spent just one season with Basel before signing for United, having only joined the Swiss outfit from FC Freiburg in her native Germany in 2019.

The forward is the current captain of the Germany Under-19 side, and can be deployed anywhere across the forward line, providing competition for both Lauren James and Jane Ross up front, but also Leah Galton, Jess Sigsworth and Kirstie Hansen on either flank.

Unsurprisingly for a side managed by former centre-half Stoney, the Red Devils boasted the second best defensive record in the division last season. However, they considerably lagged behind the top three in regards to goals scored, finding the net just 24 times in 14 games. The injection of Fuso, alongside Staniforth, will help to bolster their attacking options and challenge Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea at the WSL summit.