Coronavirus shmoronavirus. Emma Hayes and Chelsea FC Women are continuing to stockpile talent so that when/if things get back to normal they can continue unabated toward their goal — trophies. If it’s shiny, metal and held aloft after a football match or matches, Hayes and Chelsea want it.
Despite the world being on pause, Chelsea’s desire to improve continues. Today it was announced that Chelsea and 25-year-old midfielder Melanie Leupolz have reached a pre-contract agreement for her to join the Blues from FC Bayern Munich Women ahead of the 2020-21 season.
Social distancing doesn’t apply when you sign FC Bayern’s vice-captain, everyone knows that.
With regards to where Leupolz will fit, well, smack dab in midfield — even more accurately, smack dab in the center of the spectrum between defensive midfielder Sophie Ingle and attacking midfielder Ji So-yun. Though Chelsea are unbeaten in the league, a game-in-hand from topping the table, and have already won the season’s first trophy, when they have struggled, a genuine central midfielder would have helped. Leupolz is just that, a composed shuttler who can provide the option of more control of a match and a way to avoid the unpredictability of heart-in-throat track meets (looks directly at Chelsea 3-3 Manchester City).
At the moment, Leupolz’s Bayern Munich sit second in the Frauen Bundesliga, behind unbeaten juggernaut Wolfsburg. In fact the only team to take points off Wolfsburg were, of course, Bayern, who held them to a 1-1 draw in late November. Leupolz also seemed to have found some goalscoring form recently, notching five goals in her last five starts before play was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Most recently, Leupolz was on international duty helping to guide Germany to the Algarve Cup final versus Italy, which was postponed.
This is some smart business from Chelsea who took a critical look at their squad — despite their dominance — and pursued a high quality player with a needed skill-set. This determination on and off the pitch is what makes Chelsea FC Women special, and Leupolz already knows the mantra around here.
“I believe in what Chelsea are doing as a club and I am excited to be a part of that. They want to win titles, and so do I.”
–Melanie Leupolz; source: ChelseaFC
Also, now that we’ve signed a German international, it gives
us me an excuse to post one of my favorite ads leading up to the 2019 Women’s World Cup (Leupolz is the one who, eventually, has eight fingers).