Chelsea FC Women had gone a whole three months without signing a player and well that just would not do! So the club sprung into action to quickly resolve this error ahead of the official reopening of the January transfer window by announcing the signing of Zećira Mušović, Swedish international and starting goalkeeper for Swedish side FC Rosengård.
Welcome to Chelsea, @ZeciraMusovic! pic.twitter.com/htO1lTHgYn— Chelsea FC Women (@ChelseaFCW) December 18, 2020
The news of Mušović’s arrival in January potentially solidifies that backup keeper Carly Telford, whose contract runs out at the end of the season, will be moving on to other opportunities elsewhere.
However, the Blues chose a fantastic player to grow and develop behind thirty-year-old starting keeper, Ann-Katrin Berger. The 5’10 twenty-four-year-old Mušović possesses all of the attributes that fit the mold of modern goalkeeping. She reads developing plays quickly, intercepts when necessary, has a solid dive, and passes the ball well from short, medium and long ranges.
This thread from NWSL Analitica (who, despite the handle, has a good bank of knowledge about women footballers all over the world) is a good breakdown of the type of keeper Chelsea are getting.
This last season, @ZeciraMusovic averaged 0.64 goals conceded per game, with an xG against of 0.7.— NWSL Analitica (@NwslAnalitica) December 18, 2020
She has a 94% of success on interceptions, a 74% of shots saved, an 89% of passing accuracy.
And it's not like she wasn't untested pic.twitter.com/zojpoRBLuO
If Mušović can continue to refine her skillset to consistently impress within a higher tier of football then there’s no reason she couldn’t provide competition for Berger over the years. However, given her age, she’s also positioned perfectly to learn as much as she can from the German before eventually taking over the reins.
An added bonus of having Mušović at Chelsea is that she is yet another strong advocate for women’s football, and is unafraid to use her voice. So much so that she also maintains her own blog and is a columnist at Fotbollskanalen. Here’s a piece she wrote about international (and soon-to-be club) teammate Magdalena Eriksson’s response to criticism about the team taking a knee.
Mušović: "Stolt över att vara en del av damlandslaget - en grupp som står för något”.— Fotbollskanalen (@fotbollskanal) September 29, 2020
Läs @ZeciraMusovic senaste krönika!https://t.co/59TQ7BC6tk pic.twitter.com/DaRjuL5hML
Zećira seems pretty excited to join Chelsea, despite being aware of the competitive environment that she will be getting into.
“It feels damn fun, I am very grateful for this opportunity and am proud of myself. Their goalkeeping coach has a good view of me and has seen how I play and what I can become. It feels very good. It does not feel like the club made a decision in one or two matches without following me for a long time.”
“I have a long way to go and know that I have to put in a hard job. It is clear that it is a step that is not very comfortable considering how good I am in Malmö, where I feel comfortable with the team and have my family.”
“If you look at the top clubs in Europe, all two or three have very good goalkeepers. So it is with Chelsea. There are already two players there that are very good, so it will definitely be a competitive situation. But we compete on the same terms, and I do not go there to sit and learn. I go there to learn and compete; it’s a great mix.”
- Zećira Mušović; source: Fotbollskanalen (via Sport Witness)
As far as signings of backup goalkeepers go, this is in the rare territory of being quite exciting. It would not be unexpected to see Mušović (who is already in the Sweden national team rotation) grow to become the cemented starter, ahead of Jennifer Falk and ex-Chelsea legend Hedvig Lindahl. Congratulations on a much deserved move, Zećira, and welcome to Chelsea!