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The 10 most expensive WSL transfers of all time

Cameron Smith
Mayra Ramirez, Chelsea, 2023/24
© IMAGO

The Women’s Super League (WSL) is the female equivalent of the Premier League and was established in 2010, although the division didn’t actually begin until 2011.

Previously, the top flight of women’s football in England had been known as the FA Women’s Premier League National Division.

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Unlike the 20 clubs that compete in the Premier League, there are only 12 professional clubs in the WSL, with one team relegated to the Championship each year.

Another vast difference between the Premier League and the WSL is the finances involved.

READ MORE: What are the most expensive women’s football transfers of all time? The 50 highest fees in history

While the top flight of the men’s game possesses some of the richest owners in world sport, the WSL operates on a far smaller budget, which means that wages and transfer fees are significantly lower than in the Premier League.

For example, the Premier League record transfer stands at €134 million, thanks to Moises Caicedo’s move from Brighton to Chelsea in the summer of 2023.

By comparison, Mayra Ramirez is the WSL’s most expensive signing after Chelsea shelled out €500,000 to sign her from Levante in January 2024, thus making her the world’s most expensive women’s transfer ever.

READ MORE: The top 10 highest paid women’s footballers in the world

The 10 most expensive WSL transfers of all time

The 10 most expensive WSL transfers

Player From To Year Fee
1. Mayra Ramirez Levante Chelsea 2024 €500k
2. Jill Roord Wolfsburg Man City 2023 €350k
= Kyra Cooney-Cross Hammarby Arsenal 2023 €350k
4. Geyse Barcelona Man Utd 2023 €300k
5. Beth England Chelsea Tottenham 2023 €284k
6. Pernille Harder Wolfsburg Chelsea 2020 €280k
7. Laura Blindkilde Aston Villa Man City 2024 €234k
= Lauren James Man Utd Chelsea 2021 €234k
9. Mia Fishel Tigres Chelsea 2023 €227k
10. Julie Blakstad Rosenborg Man City 2022 €196k

10. Julie Blakstad – €196,000 (from Rosenborg to Man City, 2022)

Norwegian talent Julie Blakstad was snapped up by Man City for €196k in 2022 in a move that generated plenty of fanfare in the WSL. The midfielder had impressed in her native Norway and was expected to easily make the step up to the English game.

However, things didn’t pan out that way and Blakstad struggled to nail down a regular starting spot. After a loan to BK Hacken in 2023, she departed City permanently in January 2024, signing for reigning Swedish champions Hammarby.

9. Mia Fishel – €227,000 (from Tigres to Chelsea, 2023)

It was a surprise when American forward Mia Fishel decided to move to Mexican giants Tigres after leaving college. Despite being selected by the Orlando Pride in the NWSL draft, the prolific UCLA Bruins attacker opted to move south in search of championship glory, winning the 2022 Liga MX Apertura and the Campeon de Campeones.

Her goalscoring exploits in Mexico – finding the net 38 times in 48 games – prompted Chelsea to cough up €227,000 in August 2023.

=7. Lauren James – €234,000 (from Man Utd to Chelsea, 2021)

The younger sister of Chelsea star Reece, Lauren James joined her brother in West London in 2021 following an impressive spell at Man Utd.

The forward scored 14 goals in 18 league games to help guide Man Utd to promotion to the WSL in the 2018/19 season, and she even scored the club’s first-ever goal in the top flight of English women’s football.

She ended the Red Devils’ debut campaign in the WSL as their top scorer with six strikes in 12 appearances and was shortlisted for the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year.

James had a stint at Chelsea from Under-10s to Under-14s and returned to the club in 2021 in a historic move that saw brother and sister reunite at the same club. Before joining Man Utd, James made her senior debut for Arsenal, becoming the second youngest female player to achieve this feat at the age of 16.

She’d even begun training with the first team one year earlier. She joined Chelsea on a four-year contract aged just 19.

Lauren James
© IMAGO – Lauren James

=7. Laura Blindkilde – €234,000 (from Aston Villa to Man City, 2024)

Man City broke the bank to sign up-and-coming England midfielder Laura Blindkilde from Aston Villa in January 2024. The 20-year-old U23 international had broken through at Villa, prompting City to shell out €234k to secure her services.

Blindkilde was brought in to replace the aforementioned Julie Blakstad after she permanent departure for Hammarby.

6. Pernille Harder – €280,000 (from Wolfsburg to Chelsea, 2020)

Harder joined Chelsea from Wolfsburg in 2020 to become one of the world’s most expensive female footballers at the time.

Harder has won UEFA’s Women’s Player of the Year on two occasions, is a seven-time Danish Female Footballer of the Year winner and has won eight league titles in her career.

She also has over 250 career goals to her name, and netted 27 Bundesliga goals in 21 games in her final season at Wolfsburg to set the highest tally ever recorded in a single campaign in the division’s history.

Harder netted 17 goals in her debut campaign at Chelsea, helping the side win the WSL and reach the Champions League final for the first time in their history.

She returned to Germany in the summer of 2023, joining Bayern after scoring 24 goals in 48 games at Chelsea.

5. Beth England – €284,000 (from Chelsea to Tottenham, 2023)

Tottenham splashed the cash on Beth England in January 2023, paying around €290,000 to bring the 28-year-old to the club from rivals Chelsea. A regular scorer for club and country, she was part of the England squad that won the European Championships in 2022 and is a four-time WSL winner.

The transfer broke the domestic record for a women’s player and England penned a contract until 2026.

4. Geyse – €300,000 (from Barcelona to Man Utd, 2023)

Man Utd snapped up Brazil international Geyse from Barcelona to help bolster the attack for Champions League qualification. Geyse had impressed at the World Cup in the summer of 2023 and was a key part of the Blaugrana’s all-conquering side, which had won the Champions League a few weeks prior.

The Red Devils paid €300k for her services, but the forward’s start to life as a Man Utd player was slow and she could not prevent her side from crashing out of the Champions League during qualifying in her first season.

=2. Kyra Cooney-Cross – €350,000 (from Hammarby to Arsenal, 2024)

Arsenal shocked women’s football fans when they sealed a stunning Deadline Day swoop for Australia star Kyra Cooney-Cross in the summer of 2023. The midfielder had been in spectacular form at the 2023 World Cup on home soil, winning praise from Arsenal legend Ian Wright, and the two were eventually united.

The finances involved in the deal to sign her were initially reported as having been below the €200k mark, but later reports confirmed that Arsenal had actually made Cooney-Cross one of women’s football’s most expensive players ever, paying at least €350k.

=2. Jill Roord – €350,000 (from Wolfsburg to Man City, 2023

One of Europe’s most talented players, Man City paid €350k to land versatile Dutch international Jill Roord in the summer of 2023. Capable of playing in midfield and as a forward, signing the ex-Arsenal and Wolfsburg star looked to have been an inspired piece of business, with her scoring six times in her first 11 games.

However, she tore her ACL in January 2024, prematurely putting an end to an impressive debut campaign for City.

Jill Roord
© IMAGO – Jill Roord

1. Mayra Ramirez – €500,000 (from Levante to Chelsea, 2024

Chelsea shattered the women’s football transfer record in January 2024 when they snapped up Mayra Ramirez from Spanish side Levante for €500k. The Colombian international was brought in as an emergency signing after star striker Sam Kerr had torn her ACL.

Ramirez had been prolific in Spain and was one of the standout performers for her country during their impressive 2023 World Cup campaign.

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