Our long-standing interest in Lauren James has turned into reality today, with the talented 19-year-old joining Chelsea officially from Manchester United on a four-year deal.
The transfer was initially reported as having a record fee for the WSL (£200k+), though it sounds like it’s more backloaded with bonuses and add-ons in addition to just £50k up front. It also includes Hanah Blundell moving the other way in a permanent deal as well.
James had been at Manchester United for the last three seasons, after coming up through the youth system at Chelsea (like her brother Reece) and then later Arsenal, playing mostly on the wings and scoring 8 goals in 22 WSL matches. United are a club in a state of absolute and shocking disarray however, which gave Chelsea the opportunity to bring her back to the club — and prevent her from scoring ridiculous goals against us, such as this one in January.
Felt so good to be back on the pitch today, doing what I love. I’ve missed it! Gutted with the result, we are improving all the time as a team and we will continue to work hard. We keep pushing. pic.twitter.com/n1uCiTmA2P— Lauren James (@laurenjamess22) January 17, 2021
Emma Hayes already has an embarrassment of riches at her disposal in attack, so it might not be surprising to see James deployed as an attacking wing-back at times. Either way Chelsea, now have one of the best young talents in England in the team as well.
“It’s a great feeling to come back home, to a great club, the club I started at the age of six. To be able to play for the first team now and come back here to Emma and the rest of the group is a great feeling.
“I’m excited to get started and I can’t wait to meet all the fans at Kingsmeadow when the new season kicks in.”
-Lauren James; source: Chelsea FC
Welcome to Chelsea, Lauren. Let’s win some things!