There were just a few short hours of the summer transfer window remaining when Everton Women confirmed star defender Gabby George had made the switch to Manchester United.
Whisperings of George’s shock exit had first emerged the previous night, with the Red Devils having swooped in at the eleventh hour to activate the England international’s £150,000 release clause.
Everton were understandably reluctant to part with one of their most prized assets, particularly with such little time remaining to find a suitable replacement, however the nature of United’s approach meant their hands were tied, and George completed her move to Leigh Sports Village on last Thursday’s deadline day.
In many ways, George was the physical embodiment of Everton Women’s modern history. She had joined the club - ironically from Man United - in 2014, and went on to make more than 100 appearances during her time on Merseyside. She represented the Blues in the 2014 FA Cup Final and became the first Everton Women’s player to sign a professional contract in 2017.
Gabby George exit proves Everton 'food chain' point as transfer deadline looms
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Following the arrival of new manager Brian Sorensen last summer, George excelled in a more advanced left-wing-back role and her imperious form saw her named the WSL's Player of the Month for January. The defender looked primed to again play a starring role for Sorensen's side in the upcoming campaign but the Blues will now quickly have to adjust to life without one of their most talismanic players if they are to build on the significant progress made last term.
Sorensen’s first season at Walton Hall Park was largely a success, with the DaneRead on liverpoolecho.co.uk