Over the course of the January transfer window, Chelsea Women brought in two international stars, loaned out two of its most promising youngsters, and let go of a fan favorite.
Jessie Fleming, one of the most beloved senior players was sold to NWSL outfit Portland Thorns FC for a transfer fee of £250,000 after reports of a move a week or so ago. It was the same amount in which CFCW sold striker Bethany England for last winter.
The west Londoners' now ex-No. 17 signed a contract with the 2021 NWSL champions through 2026, donning the No. 21 in the United States in honor of two of her best mates, Niamh Charles and Pernille Harder. She'll bring that winning mentality to a team that just dealt a critical piece to its midfield to the City of Angels, hoisting seven major trophies since moving across the pond in July 2020.
Jessie Fleming will be sorely missed by each and everyone in the Chelsea community
During her tenure under Emma Hayes, Fleming made 111 appearances, scoring 12 goals, never really finding a solid role in the midfield. Credit to the Canadian despite inconsistent playing time for always being one of the most hard-working players out there when she got the call. 2021/22 was far and away her best campaign in blue, tallying 10 Women's Super League goal contributions, good for fifth on the west London side. The midfielder has not suited up for the Blues since December in Sweden, finishing with three assists and a goal at Everton in her final few months in London.
Fleming was adored by each and every one of her teammates which was evident via social media once the news dropped. She'll be remembered for her smile, that humble personality, and the fact that she was such a valuable squad player during some key successes under Hayes.
In other news, the second Chelsea Women's youngster was sent to the English second tier. Defender Cerys Brown joins Watford Women, a club in the midst of a relegation battle through the end of the season. The versatile defensive-minded full back was included in CFCW's UEFA Women's Champions League group stage squad, but failed to earn an outing. It'll be a tough road to get senior minutes. The only thing she can do is focus on stringing together some positive loan spells and let the rest fall into place.
Cerys Brown joins a club where she should receive significant minutes with the goal of starving off relegation
Brown made her senior team debut away at Reading in the FA Cup quarterfinals last March before signing her first professional contract in July. Last season, No. 38 was named the Under-18 Player of the Season, finishing tied for the second most appearances in the Southern Division of the FA WSL Academy League. Watford is in desperate need of some defensive stability, currently holding the Championship lead in goals conceded with 30, six more than any other club. Brown could make her debut for the Hornets this Sunday afternoon when Birmingham City travel to Grosvenor Vale.
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