Chelsea have agreed a fee to sign striker Lauren James from Manchester United, according to Simon Johnson of the Athletic. The England women’s international is a former Arsenal youth player who has spent the last three years in Manchester.
Lauren James Transfer Fee Agreed
Impressive Young Forward
James was among the first recruits of the re-instated women’s team of Manchester United. She made her WSL debut in the 2017/18 season with Arsenal. She joined Manchester United at the start of the 2018/19 season. In her first season, James scored 14 goals in the FA Women’s Championshsip. Only teammate Jessica Sigsworth scored more goals in the league than her. Despite being affected by injury, Lauren scored eight goals in 22 WSL appearances across the last two seasons.
Lauren James, who brother Reece plays for Chelsea, is one of the league’s brightest young prospects. Still only 19, James already has significant top-flight experience. She was also part of England’s 29-player training camp in November 2020 at St George’s Park. She scored United’s first two Championship goals in their win over Villa, their first WSL goal in a win over Liverpool and their first goal at Old Trafford.
Emma Hayes Continues to strengthen
Emma Hayes has no dearth of attacking talent at Chelsea. Her squad includes three of the world’s best forwards in Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr. Guro Reiten, Bethany England, Erin Cuthbert and Niamh Charles add further options for Hayes to utilise. Chelsea reached the final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League last season, but ended up losing out to Barcelona. They also won the WSL and the Women’s League Cup.
Lauren James is a player Hayes has long wanted at the club, although she will have a real dilemma in figuring out how to fit all these talented forwards in her team. Manchester United, who have lost USWNT forwards Tobin Heath and Christen Press, as well as Jess Sigsworth and Jane Ross, were reportedly reluctant to let Lauren leave.
Chelsea will reportedly pay up to £200,000 which is a record for transfers between two WSL clubs. The overall deal will be for less than what Chelsea paid Wolfsburg for Pernille Harder, however. James has already had her medical, and is now discussing personal terms.
Embed from Getty Images