At a time when the global economy is distressed by the coronavirus pandemic, Roman Abramovich’s extravagant spending continues.
Prolific Danish attacker Pernille Harder is the latest mega arrival at Chelsea. She moved to South West London from Champions League [UWCL] finalists Wolfsburg for a fee believed to be in the region of £300,000 – a record in women’s football.
Harder joins Chelsea Women just in time for the start of the Women’s Super League, which begins on 5th September. The 27 year old Denmark international is regarded as one of the best players in the world and there are statistics to support that argument.
She has 103 goals in 113 appearances for VFL Wolfsburg Frauen, after joining in 2017. Of those goals, 27 came in the 2019-20 Frauen-Bundesliga, top-scorer in the competition by some distance.
In 2018, she was given the prestigious UEFA Best Player of the Year Award. In three and a half seasons with Wolfsburg, she won 4 Bundesliga trophies in addition to 4 German cups.
Twice, she’s had a shot at the UEFA Women’s Champions League, but lost to Lyon in the final both times. Her final game for Wolfsburg will be the 1-3 loss to Lyon on 30th August.
Chelsea’s New Faces
Chelsea Women and their manager Emma Hayes have pulled off some spectacular transfers in the close season. Melanie Leupolz joined from Bayern Munich, Niamh Charles came from Liverpool and Canada international Jessie Fleming also arrived earlier in the summer.
Harder appears committed to taking on a new challenge in England. On signing, she said, “I’m extremely happy and extremely excited to get started, to finally be here and be a Chelsea player. I couldn’t be more happy.
I’m excited to just play for such a big club, to play with so many amazing players and to also be playing in the Women’s Super League.”
Her manager Hayes told the press, “Pernille is one of the best players in the world. Her record at Wolfsburg and Linköping, as well as internationally with Denmark, shows how valuable she has been to her teams.
Harder is a fantastic team player who wants to take her game to the next level. She chose Chelsea as the club that can push her to that level.
She can play for any team in the world. But she chose our players, the staff, the environment and the playing style.”
Abramovich’s summer of spending
Covid-19 does not appear to have impacted Roman Abramovich or his financial resources. At a time when clubs are struggling with their transfer budget, the Russian billionaire has splashed the cash.
He has invested big money on Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell while also adding defenders Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr to the men’s squad.
By sanctioning the move for Pernille Harder, Abramovich has reinforced his desire for Chelsea to challenge for major honours. With the men’s team, he aims to reclaim the Premier League. With the women’s team, he’d want Chelsea to win their second successive WSL, at the very least.