Chelsea Women’s Team not messing around after signing Buchanan

Kadeisha Buchanan, then of Olympique Lyon, now at Chelsea (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)
Kadeisha Buchanan, then of Olympique Lyon, now at Chelsea (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images) /

After Chelsea Football Club made its first signing of the new Boehly era, there was no doubt that Emma Hayes was going to add valuable pieces to help the Blues in their goal of a Champions League title. It is clear that there has only been one thing on Hayes’ mind since the extra time win in the FA Cup final against Manchester City. Arguably one of the best defenders in the world, and five-time European champion with the most storied women’s team in all of Europe, Kadeisha Buchanan signed a three-year deal with the Blues.

Adding more and more experience to the backline has been the goal so far for Hayes as she no doubt has her eyes on Philips Stadium. Buchanan adds a completely different dimension for Chelsea in the back. The Blues now have four solid centerbacks that Hayes should feel comfortable rotating through with the multitude of competitions Chelsea will be competing in. In her introduction as a Blues, Buchanan expressed her thoughts and aspirations for her time with Chelsea, stating, “I am coming to Chelsea with the same ambition I always had – win trophies and become the best in the world.”

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She continued:

"“The club has everything in order for us to compete in every competition and it’s time to bring a Champions League trophy to London…I’m hoping to bring my experience to the team and continue on the successful pathway that the club has been on for the past seasons. I can’t wait to join my new team-mates and the coaching staff on this journey.”"

The 26-year-old former West Virginia Mountaineer has been with Lyon since 2017, and has been a crucial part in not only the success of her club team, but the accession of the Canadian National Team into one of the elites in the world. Buchanan possesses a combination of size, strength, awareness, and vision of the field in front of her. She is teammates with Jessie Fleming on the national team, as the two helped guide Canada to its first-ever Olympic gold medal in women’s soccer. While Buchanan does not score many goals, she continues to show the ability to ignite an attack through her darting runs forward or her precise through balls.

She has started every match she has played in with Canada, playing in two World Cups, and two Olympics. Buchanan along with Perisett provide some flexibility when it comes to the formation Hayes wants to put out against a league that keeps on improving year after year. If Hayes opts to, she could play four in the back with Millie Bright, Jessica Carter, Magdalena Eriksson, and now Buchanan. Carter grew into the player that Hayes had anticipated she would be, and with that, a rotation of three CB could make a lot more sense if the goal is to win as many trophies as possible.

Buchanan is a forceful centerhalf that plays with loads of confidence. Lyon normally played with four in the back during the 21/22 season with Buchanan on the right side of the two in the middle. She was one of the catalyst’s to leading the champions of France to allowing just eight goals during the entire league season. Hayes is adding more and more players to allow her to advance the talents of some of the young defenders on top of having more flexibility than any other team in the WSL.

Before the Blues even had a chance to sit back and rest after the season came to a close, Hayes signed two world-class players to an already quality roster. Hayes and Chelsea have been there and done that domestically. Signing Sam Kerr, and Pernille Harder was the beginning of elevating this squad to the next level, and now Perisett and Buchanan are the next iteration of that, but in the backline.

An international star departs, and another two crucial players to their respective national teams enter the fold. Ji So-yun was arguably one of the best players that the WSL has ever seen, and while she returned to her home country of South Korea to play for Suwon FC, Hayes wasted no time adding some of the most quality players that the national team stage has to offer. Buchanan adds what few defenders around the world possess.

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She combines power, finesse, and an ability to recover in the middle of a defense that no other current defender on the CFC roster possesses. Hayes demands only the best of the best for a club that she built from the middle of the table to the top in the span of just a few years. Arsenal and Manchester City have added a few pieces in order to elevate its potential, but neither have acquired a player of Buchanan’s class.