Recent years have seen an influx of foreign talent to the Barclays FA Women's Super League, as the English top-flight has become a top destination for many of the biggest stars in world football.
Ahead of the Women's Football Weekend on November 14 and 15, FourFourTwo runs through 15 of the biggest international stars currently playing in the Barclays FA Women's Super League.
1. Janine Beckie – Manchester City (Canada)
Now in her fourth season in the Barclays FA Women's Super League, forward Beckie nabbed two goals at the 2020 Olympics this summer as Canada clinched gold in Tokyo, adding to the three she scored at Rio 2016.
Having cut her teeth with Houston Dash and Sky Blue FC in the American NWSL, the now 27-year old signed for Man City in 2018, and has two Vitality Women's FA Women’s Cup and one FA Continental Tyres League Cup winners’ medals to her name.
2. Hanna Bennison – Everton (Sweden)
Just 19, Bennison is one of the most exciting young talents in world football, and her signing is a statement of ambitious intent from Everton.
One of three arrivals to Everton from Rosengard in the summer of 2021 – along with her compatriot Anna Anvegard – Bennison was wanted by Lyon two years ago, and could be one of the biggest names in the women's game over the next decade.
What a finish from Hanna Bennison 🤩#BarclaysFAWSL @EvertonWomen pic.twitter.com/Y5YCEPwVbtSeptember 26, 2021
3. Magdalena Eriksson – Chelsea (Sweden)
Widely seen as one of the best defenders in the world, Chelsea captain Eriksson has made over 100 appearances for the Blues since joining in 2017, where she’s won three FA WSL titles, two FA Women’s League Cups and an FA Women’s Cup.
Her time with Sweden has been defined more by close calls: they came home from both the 2016 and 2020 Olympics with silver medals, and took the third-place spot in the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
4. Jessie Fleming – Chelsea (Canada)
Still just 23, Fleming scored a penalty during normal time of the 2020 Olympic final, before stepping up to successfully convert Canada’s first spot-kick of the subsequent shootout that saw them pick up gold.
The midfielder joined Chelsea in 2020, and the Blues won a Barclays FA Women's Super League and FA Continental Tyres League Cup double in her first season.
5. Caitlin Foord – Arsenal (Australia)
A footballing prodigy who made her World Cup debut in 2011 aged just 16, Foord has quickly become a fan favourite in north London since joining the Gunners in January 2020 – helped by the 10 goals in 21 Barclays FA Women's Super League games in 2020/21.
6. Emily Gielnik – Aston Villa (Australia)
Emily Gielnik scored her first goal for @AVWFCOfficial as the Villans beat @BHAFCWomen in Gameweek Three 👊Watch #BarclaysFAWSL highlights on The FA Player ⤵️September 27, 2021
A deadline day transfer, Gielnik scored in just her second game for Villa – curling a shot into the far corner to secure a 1-0 win over Brighton.
A complete athlete, with a commanding 6ft frame, she was also a promising basketball and Rugby League player growing up, but her football career has taken her to 11 clubs across Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Germany. It's not her first stop in England, either: she enjoyed a brief spell with Liverpool in 2012.
7. Pernille Harder – Chelsea (Denmark)
Harder joined Chelsea in September 2020, in one of the biggest transfers in women’s football history, following a season in which she scored an astonishing 38 goals from 33 games for Wolfsburg.
Four times a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal winner in Germany – as well as two runners-up medals in the Champions League – Harder is also a two-time winner of UEFA’s Women’s Player of the Year award.
8. Yui Hasegawa – West Ham (Japan)
Japanese midfielder Hasegawa joined West Ham from AC Milan on a two-year deal in the summer, in something of a transfer coup for the Hammers – the 24-year-old had reportedly been attracting interest from PSG, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Hasegawa already has 45 caps for her country under her belt, and scored her first goal for her new club in a 2-0 victory over Manchester City in October.
9. Tobin Heath – Arsenal (United States)
A superstar of the women’s game, Heath has played a major part of the United States team that has dominated international football over the past 15 years, including two Olympic golds and two World Cup wins.
The announcement of her signing for Manchester United in 2020, along with national team-mate Christen Press, was a huge boost for the whole Barclays FA Women's Super League – though an ankle injury in January cut short her debut season. She made the switch to childhood team Arsenal at the beginning of the 2021/22 season.
10. Jackie Groenen – Manchester United (Netherlands)
Groenen is back in the Barclays FA Women's Super League, having spent a year at Chelsea as a teenager. She was Manchester United’s first overseas signing, and was an integral part of the Netherlands team that won the Euros in 2017, and finished runners-up in the 2019 World Cup.
11. Mana Iwabuchi – Arsenal (Japan)
A World Cup winner with Japan in 2011, 28-year-old Iwabuchi also has three Japanese league titles under her belt, as well as two Frauen Bundesliga titles after a stint at Bayern Munich.
She joined the Barclays FA Women's Super League with Aston Villa in early 2021, and made the switch to Arsenal in the summer – scoring her first goal for the Gunners against Villa in October.
Two goals from Kim Little and one apiece from Mana Iwabuchi and Katie McCabe helped @ArsenalWFC to a fourth successive league victory 🔥Watch #BarclaysFAWSL highlights on The FA Player ⤵️October 3, 2021
12. Ji So-yun – Chelsea (South Korea)
Ji is one of four South Koreans plying their trade in the FA WSL, and has been a star of the league since joining Chelsea in 2014. In that time she’s picked up five league titles with the Blues, was voted the FA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year in 2014, and has made over 100 appearances for the Blues.
13. Sam Kerr – Chelsea (Australia)
Wherever she goes, Kerr promises goals. The 28-year-old is the record goalscorer in the American NWSL (and was only recently overtaken in the Australian W-League), is the only woman to have been a top scorer in three different countries (United States, Australia and England), the only Australian to score a hat-trick at a World Cup, and is a three-time Ballon d’Or nominee and a four-time BBC Women’s Player of the Year nominee.
Kerr already has two league titles with Chelsea, and scored 21 goals from 22 Barclays FA Women's Super League appearances in 2020/21.
14. Emma Koivisto – Brighton (Finland)
One of just two Finnish players in the Barclays FA Women's Super League, Kovisto has been solid at right-back for Brighton during the Seagulls' bright start to the season, racking up four wins from their first six games.
It was her versatility that attracted Brighton's interest earlier this year, with the 27-year-old adept in a number of positions across defence and the midfield.
15. Vicky Losada – Manchester City (Spain)
A Barcelona youth graduate, Losada has made almost 300 league appearances for Barça over three stints during her career, and was part of the team that won the Women’s Champions League in 2021.
She spent two seasons with Arsenal, winning the FA Cup and League Cup, and took on the No.17 shirt at Manchester City as a nod to men’s player Kevin De Bruyne.
16. Katie McCabe – Arsenal (Ireland)
McCabe was made the youngest-ever captain of the Irish national team in 2017 when she was just 21, and has been a mainstay of the Arsenal team since making her debut in 2016 – finishing the title-winning 2018/19 season with more minutes than anyone else in the squad.
17. Vivianne Miedema – Arsenal (Netherlands)
Goal - MIEDEMA Assist - MEADHow many times will we see these two link up for the Gunners this season? 🔥#BarclaysFAWSL @ArsenalWFC pic.twitter.com/oUnlm92N78September 15, 2021
The Barclays FA Women's Super League’s all-time leading scorer, Miedema is indisputably one of the greatest players of her generation. Only joining Arsenal in 2017, she also holds the league records for most goals in a single game (six) and most in a single season (22), as well as being the Netherlands’ all-time leading goalscorer at international level, including 10 in at the 2020 Olympics.
She has one league title with the Gunners, and is on the shortlist for both this year’s Ballon d’Or Feminin and the BBC Women’s Player of the Year award.
18. Ria Percival – Tottenham (New Zealand)
Spurs defender Percival was actually born in Basildon, but didn’t ply her trade in England until joining West Ham in 2018. One of the more experienced players in an upwardly-mobile Tottenham team, Percival has over 150 caps for her country and has appeared at the 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 World Cup, as well as the 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympics.
She got off the mark for Tottenham this season with a 95th minute, long distance equaliser against Manchester United.
Ria Percival from down town 🤩#BarclaysFAWSL @SpursWomen pic.twitter.com/8SDE7ygOAfNovember 7, 2021
19. Deanne Rose – Reading (Canada)
Reading is Rose's first professional team, joining in the summer after graduating from the University of Florida, where she had been playing for the college team Florida Gators.
She won her first international cap at just age 16, and scored in the 2016 Olympics bronze-medal match when she was only 17. Now 22, she has over 60 caps for her country, and played at the 2020 games, where Canada won gold.
20. Shelina Zadorsky – Tottenham (Canada)
From London, Ontario to London, England, Zadorsky is another gold medal winner from Tokyo 2020. Having played in the United States, Australia and Sweden, she made a loan switch to Spurs ahead of the 2020/21 season, and made the move permanent in January 2021.
An experienced defender, she has been a mainstay for Spurs so far this season.
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