England forward Alessia Russo joined Arsenal on a free transfer in July (Zac Goodwin/PA)
A busy summer transfer window saw one of the biggest names in the Women’s Super League switch sides, while a Japanese World Cup standout is set to play English top-flight football for the first time.
Here, the PA news agency picks five players to look out for in the WSL as the new campaign gets under way.
Arsenal tried and failed – with a rumoured world-record bid – to reach an agreement with Manchester United to sign England forward Russo during the January transfer window, but the Gunners finally landed their coveted target on a free transfer in July.
Russo hit 10 goals in the WSL last season as United finished runners-up to champions Chelsea and was boss Sarina Wiegman’s first-choice centre forward for the World Cup, where she netted three times for the runners-up.
With Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema also set for imminent returns from their respective anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, head coach Jonas Eidevall will boast an intimidating wealth of options in attack.
While Brazil international Geyse, a Champions League winner last season with Barcelona, will likely be seen as the most direct replacement for Russo, boss Marc Skinner will also be buoyed by the arrival of Japan international Miyazawa from WE League side MyNavi Sendai.
Versatile Miyazawa’s five goals in four games at the World Cup were good enough to secure her the tournament’s Golden Boot, and her breakthrough performance also landed the 23-year-old nominations for both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA Best Women’s Player of 2023.
With United playing more matches this season after securing a Champions League berth for the first time, Miyazawa adds pivotal depth toRead on belfasttelegraph.co.uk