It’s been another extremely busy summer of player trading in the SW6, but while the men’s team are now done, the WSL transfer window remains open until the 14th of September, so Emma Hayes & Co may not be.
And sure enough, Chelsea announced today the signing of 18-year-old midfielder Wieke Kaptein from FC Twente, who’s signed a four-year contract and was promptly loaned back to the Eredivise Vrouwen big-timers for the season ahead. (FC Twente have won 8 of the last 12 Dutch league titles, but were pipped to it by a point by Ajax last year.)
Kaptein may have just turned 18 last week, but she’s had two full seasons of senior football already, and was part of the Netherlands’ World Cup squad this summer, making one appearance as the Dutch would lose to eventual champions Spain in the quarterfinals.
“Wieke is a top young midfield player. She has brilliant energy in the middle of the park, but she’s also a player who can play between both boxes really well. She likes to get forward, she’s tenacious and her style of play will suit the WSL. She needs to go and keep developing and we look forward to her in the future.”
-Emma Hayes; source: Chelsea FC
Having lost big players in Pernille Harder and long-time captain Magdalena Eriksson, who both left for Bayern Munich, Chelsea have retooled with a purpose, adding Catarina Macario, Mia Fishel, Sjoeke Nüsken, Ashley Lawrence, and Nicky Evrard to the first-team, and a few others with a view more towards the future, like Kaptein. (Though Macario is still recovering from ACL surgery.)
It’s shaping up to be another exciting, history-making season at Kingsmeadow (and occasionally Stamford Bridge), so at least we’ll know where to look to find consistent excellence in a Blues shirt.