After it was announced that Australian super-striker Sam Kerr would be joining Chelsea in the New Year, Women’s Super League players and coaches have been voicing their opinions on the latest star to join the WSL.
The 26-year-old will move to west London when her work permit is granted in late December after scoring 147 goals in 216 appearances for clubs across Australia and America.
Kerr, who also has 38 goals in 83 appearances for the Australia national team, will bring not only goal scoring prowess, but also experience that will be valuable for the likes of young Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert.
The 21-year-old Scot said: “I think it’s amazing she’s joining the club. As a young player I want to be learning off the absolute best and that’s what I’m doing so it’s really exciting for me.
“I’m really relishing the opportunity to play with her because she’s scored a lot of goals so I want to set her up a few times.”
Someone who may not benefit with regards to playing time is Blues striker Bethany England.
The 25-year-old’s performances for Chelsea so far this season have earnt the forward a spot in Phil Neville’s Three Lions squad, but England understands that Kerr will bring experience and
The striker said: “I’m not bothered about her taking my spot. I can only control my performances. At the end of the day, Emma picks the team and we’re doing well.
“I don’t think anyone should be worried about her coming in. We should just embrace the fact that she’s bringing all the experience that she’s got to the team and hopefully it can help us all on our way.”
Kerr’s arrival imminent arrival in the Women’s Super League will not only benefit Chelsea, but rival managers and players believe that the move can help improve the league as a whole.
Manchester United head coach Casey Stoney, whose side lost to Chelsea 1-0 on Sunday, believes that the transfer shows the strength of the WSL in England, and hopes that defenders will improve as a result of Kerr’s influence on the country’s domestic game.
She said: “When I saw that she signed I thought, ‘fantastic - what a great test for our centre-backs now.’
“She’s someone who’s a proven goalscorer, a great test. Can we shut her out next time we play her?”
Arsenal defender Leah Williamson, who helped her side beat north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur over the weekend, believes that rival strikers will look to compete with her - including current Gunners goalscoring machine Vivianne Miedema.
Speaking after the Tottenham game, Williamson added: “It's great for the league to be able to attract such a high profile player but we've got Vivianne Miedema.
“I think Viv will enjoy that rivalry. Viv's one of, if not the best player in the league so when she plays like she can do she's almost unstoppable".
Despite all the excitment over the Sam Kerr transfer, Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes is remaining grounded about the move, saying that she will not be thinking about the Australian’s arrival until she completes her move.
Hayes said over the weekend: “I have to go one game at a time. I’ve said it before, our players have put us in a fantastic position and I think it’s important to talk about them.
“Then, when January comes, I’ll talk about someone else. Right now I’m going to talk about my players.”