The WSL's most exciting new arrivals in January 2024

  • WSL clubs have done business throughout January
  • Many new faces have joined the league from across the globe
  • 90min breaks down some of the most exciting transfers

Chelsea spent big money on Mayra Ramirez
Chelsea spent big money on Mayra Ramirez / Diego Souto/GettyImages

The winter transfer window has finally closed and the WSL is back in full swing this weekend, with plenty of new faces coming into the competition for the first time.

Since New Year's Day, clubs have been diligently working behind the scenes, scouting and finalising deals with new players both domestically and internationally. Among others, a multitude of Japanese, Swedes, Australians, Americans and a record-breaking Colombian have found new homes across England. Meanwhile, others - like Laura Blindkilde Brown - have moved between WSL teams.

Here, 90min looks at some of the most exciting brand new additions to the WSL.

Mayra Ramirez (Chelsea)

Mayra Ramirez
Mayra Ramirez joined Chelsea for a world record fee / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Fans have already seen a glimpse of Chelsea's newest addition, 24-year-old striker Mayra Ramirez, after she came on as a substitute in the Blues' 3-0 victory over Brighton last weekend. The Colombian signed on for a world record fee of nearly £500,000 - including add-ons, which surpassesing Keira Walsh's post-Euro 2022 switch to Barcelona.

Reaching impressive heights with Levante in Spain's Liga F, Ramirez scored 20 goals in 34 appearances during her two-year spell at the club. Following her encounter with England in the Women's World Cup quarter-finals, supporters may have already been teased by the pace, experience, and clinical finishing prowess that the striker will bring to the WSL.

Ramirez is primed to fill the gaping hole left by Sam Kerr, who suffered an ACL injury during Chelsea's mid-season training camp in Morocco, and has the chance to display her goalscoring acumen by leading the charge for a fifth consecutive WSL title.

Katrina Gorry (West Ham)

Katrina Gorry
Gorry was West Ham's second signing of the winter window / West Ham United FC/GettyImages

West Ham United endeared themselves to Australian fans by securing the signature of veteran midfielder Katrina Gorry at the onset of the transfer window. Accompanied by her adored 2-year-old daughter, Harper, she made the transition from Swedish side Vittsjo on a free transfer.

Upon signing for the Hammers, Gorry said, "The club spoke my language. West Ham is a family club and that was a big factor for me wanting to join. I’ve felt the support from everyone straight away and there is no better place for me to be right now."

After a rocky start to the season, West Ham are lingering dangerously close to the relegation spot, just three points ahead of Bristol City at the bottom. The 32-year-old brings a wealth of experience, composure and talent to Rehanne Skinner's engine room, as does fellow new arrival Kristie Mewis, and could potentially be the signing that keeps the team in the WSL for another season.

Emily Fox (Arsenal)

Emily Fox
Emily Fox won a Player of the Match trophy in just her second WSL game / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

With Arsenal announcing the departure of full-back Noelle Maritz to Aston Villa, space was made to reunite North Carolina Tar Heels alum Emily Fox with former college teammates Alessia Russo and Lotte Wubben-Moy at Meadow Park.

The United States full-back played in the NWSL with Racing Louisville and North Carolina Courage prior to joining the north London club as a free agent. During the Women's World Cup, she had started all four of the American team;s games before their untimely exit.

Fox not only injects an international quality into Arsenal but also brings a remarkable blend of tenacity and skill that promises to amplify their title pursuit. In only her second WSL appearance, the 24-year-old was named Player of the Match as the Gunners won 2-0 against Liverpool.

Tara O'Hanlon (Man City)

Tara O'Hanlon
Ireland international signed a three-and-a-half year deal with CIty / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

Possibly one of the most exciting young prospects around, Tara O'Hanlon chose Manchester City despite a plethora of interest from other clubs, including regining champions Chelsea.

Moving from Ireland's title-winning Peamount United to the WSL, the 18-year-old Republic of Ireland international arrives with a hunger and determination to prove herself as she embarks on a new chapter in a new club and league.

As a budding and talented defender, O'Hanlon is one to keep your eye on; she already has two caps for Ireland and narrowly missed out on a place at the country's first World Cup last summer.

Charli Grant (Tottenham)

Charlotte Grant
The number of Australians in the WSL continues to grow / Brendon Thorne/GettyImages

With the football community gripped by Matildas fever during the World Cup, more Australian internationals have been making the move across the globe to the WSL in their droves. Following in the footsteps of her compatriots Sam Kerr, Steph Catley and the aforementioned Gorry, defender Charli Grant made the move to Tottenham Hotspur this window.

The 22-year-old full-back is an exciting prospect who brings knowledge of high class European football to Robert Vilahamn's side after playing in Sweden with Rosengard and Vittsjo since 2021.

"It feels very surreal," Grant said of her move. "It's definitely a dream come true and I'm excited to get started. What we are building here at the club is very special and something I wanted to be a part of."

She has already scored her first goal in England, coming in Spurs' 3-0 win over Southampton in the Conti Cup to prove she is just as talented at finding the net as she is at protecting it.

Saori Takarada (Leicester)

Saori Takarada
The Japan international joins Leicester / Michael Regan/GettyImages

As an influx of Australian talent found a home in the WSL, so too have increasing numbers of Japan internationals. Saori Takarada is one of two who have joined Willie Kirk's Leicester alone.

Signing from Swedish club Linkopings FC alongside compatriot Yuka Momiki, the 24-year-old is a versatile and internationally acclaimed talent who has already set the Foxes ablaze in recent games.

Kirk described the 'number six' midfielder as "an exceptional technician" and his "missing-link", hoping her addition will contribute to a comfortable mid-table finish for an ambitous side.

Shae Yanez (Bristol City)

Shae Yanez
Yanez formerly played for London City Lionesses and Angel City before signing for Bristol / Ira L. Black - Corbis/GettyImages

With goalkeeper Benedicte Haaland's time with the Bristol City coming to a close over winter, a new shot stopper was desperately required as the Robins seek to beat relegation. Lauren Smith set her sights on bringing former London City Lionesses 'keeper Shae Yanez back to the UK.

Moving to San Diego Wave in the NWSL in April of last year, the 26-year-old America made the move back to the UK in a bid to help keep Bristol City in the WSL for another season.

Speaking on her move, Yanez admitted she was fulfilling her dream of returning to English football to play in the WSL after previously just missing out on promotion with the aforementioned Lionesses.