Natasha Dowie returns to Liverpool on loan from Reading

WSL veteran Natasha Dowie has left Reading on loan
WSL veteran Natasha Dowie has left Reading on loan / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Natasha Dowie has joined Liverpool on loan from Reading for the remainder of the 2022/23 season, returning to the club where she previously won back-to-back WSL titles in 2013 and 2014.

The striker signed for Reading in the summer of 2021 and netted six times during her debut season with the Royals. However, she has largely been restricted to substitute appearances this term, with Emma Harries and Lauren Wade currently ahead of her in the pecking order.

Matt Beard confirmed on Sunday that Liverpool were in the market for a forward before the January window closed. Last season's top scorer Leanne Kiernan is still sidelined with the ankle injury she picked up on the opening day of the campaign, while Shanice van de Sanden is expected to be out for up to two months with the knee problem she sustained warming up on the frozen pitch ahead of the abandoned WSL fixture with Chelsea.

"It’s been a surreal last couple of days and it’s all happened quite quickly, to be honest. But I’m over the moon to be back," Dowie told Liverpool's official club website. "This is my home and it’s where I’ve had such great memories – the best memories of my football career, winning the league here. 

"I’m just really excited for the next four months. I'm on loan from Reading but I just really want to help Liverpool get up the table as much as I can and be involved."

Dowie first joined Liverpool from rivals Everton in November 2012. She netted 13 goals in 14 appearances during her debut season with the Reds to seal the club's maiden WSL title and end Arsenal's run of domestic dominance.

Liverpool defended their title the following year, before Dowie departed for Doncaster Belles in 2016.

The 34-year-old has since had spells in the United States, Australia, Sweden, Norway and Italy, before returning to the WSL with Reading.

Dowie is the second member of Liverpool's title-winning team to reunite with title-winning boss Matt Beard this window, after Gemma Bonner already re-signed for the club in December.

"I think the biggest thing for us is that Tats is a goalscorer," Beard added. "If you look at her record, it’s consistently a goal every other game throughout her career.

"When the opportunity arose to bring her in – the fact she’s a Liverpool fan as well – we felt it was a good move for us and a good move for her."

Dowie is the WSL's joint 13th all-time top scorer with 38 goals.