Thursday, February 16, 2023
HomeUSA NewsKeira Walsh: England midfielder completes world-record move to Barcelona from Manchester City

Keira Walsh: England midfielder completes world-record move to Barcelona from Manchester City

Keira Walsh
Walsh won one WSL title and three FA Cups with Manchester City

England midfielder Keira Walsh has joined Barcelona in a world-record deal from Manchester City.

The fee of about £400,000 breaks the previous record for a female player set by Chelsea, who paid more than £250,000 for Pernille Harder in 2020.

Euro 2022 winner Walsh, who had a year left on her contract, leaves City after eight years.

The 25-year-old follows fellow England international Lucy Bronze in swapping Manchester for Barcelona.

Defensive midfielder Walsh, who has signed a three-year-deal with Barca, played an influential role in England’s Euro 2022 triumph.

She won the Player of the Match award in the 2-1 extra-time final win over Germany at Wembley.

City had turned down previous bids made by the Catalan club, who won their third successive Primera Division title last season.

Barcelona are currently without Ballon d’Or-winning midfielder Alexia Putellas, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament while training with Spain in July before the Euros.

Walsh has been ever-present for City since making her debut in 2014, making 211 appearances and winning eight major trophies with her childhood club.

She played 18 times for Gareth Taylor’s side in the Women’s Super League last season, scoring once and registering nine assists.

Since earning her first cap for England in 2017, Walsh has made 50 appearances for the Lionesses.

City have also lost England midfielder Georgia Stanway to Bayern Munich and Scotland’s Caroline Weir to Real Madrid this summer, while both Ellen White and Jill Scott announced their retirement from football last month.


Emma Sanders, BBC Sport reporter

It’s not just the fee involved that makes this one of the most significant transfers in women’s football history – but also because of what one club gains and one loses.

Walsh is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world. There was shock from her team-mates when she was recently left off the list for this year’s Ballon d’Or nominations.

Player of the Match in the Euro 2022 final, she has been a mainstay for both club and country for several years and is irreplaceable in many people’s eyes.

Barcelona are already a dominant force in European football and with Walsh now in their ranks, they have taken another step away from Manchester City, who have been seriously weakened by her departure.

This summer has seen unprecedented transfer fees spent on female players, who are now starting to realise their power. They are no longer bound to the lengths of their contracts as clubs become willing to spend money.

The question is, when will the first £1m female player come?

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