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Report: Tottenham Women to rival WSL transfer record for Chelsea striker Bethany England

It’s the Mail... but who cares about that because BETH ENGLAND ZOMG

Manchester City v Chelsea - The Vitality Women’s FA Cup Semi Final Photo by Naomi Baker - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

There’s POTENTIALLY SEISMIC TRANSFER NEWS coming out of Tottenham Hotspur’s camp this morning! According to the Daily Mail (I know, we’ll get to that, hang on), Tottenham Hotspur Women are preparing to rival the WSL transfer record by paying £250k for the transfer of England international striker Bethany England from Chelsea.

This would be HUGE. £250k doesn’t sound like a lot of money for a footballer, and it isn’t, but it’s a massive fee for English woso. The Mail claims that the £250k for England would break the current intra-WSL transfer record of £200k which Chelsea spent for then-Manchester United forward Lauren James in 2021. The reported fee would also come awfully close to equalling the overall WSL transfer record held by another Chelsea player, Pernille Harder. Harder was purchased from Wolfsburg for what is believed to be “in excess of £250k” in 2020.

There’s an obvious “It’s the Mail” caveat that needs to be stated here, but I also am not at all sure whether the unreliability of that publication in the men’s game carries over into woso. But there was a ton of smoke circulating this summer that Spurs were very interested in purchasing the 28-year old then. That didn’t happen for whatever reason, but the rumors never really went away.

Also I really want this to happen so I choose to believe it’s true.

Beth England is as about an established English WSL star as you can have. As a professional, she’s won five WSL titles with Chelsea, including four in the last four years. She’s a regular with the Lionesses and will heavily feature for England in this summer’s World Cup. Should she come, she instantly waltzes straight into the starting lineup for a Tottenham Women team that has been dogged by injury and is still having trouble scoring goals. Spurs Women have scored 11 goals in nine league matches, but eight of them came in one match — a 8-0 drubbing of Brighton on October 30. It’s clear they need more offensive weaponry, especially after Ellie Brazil went down with a knee injury a month ago. I just got a shiver thinking about a strike partnership of Nikola Karczewska and Beth England next month.

England is 28 now and while she played a pretty significant role in England’s qualification for the World Cup, she’s been left out of Sarina Wiegman’s last two England squads. The Mail suggests that part of the reason she wants to move to Spurs is to get enough first team minutes to force her way back into conversation for the World Cup team.

But just plopping Beth England at the top of the line isn’t going to be a panacea for what ails Spurs Women. England knows where the back of the net is, but it won’t matter much if Spurs can’t get her the ball in good positions. Ball progression has been as much of an issue this season as finishing, a concern that hopefully will be rectified somewhat with the imminent return of Kit Graham to Spurs’ lineup. However, I would hope that should this happen England wouldn’t be the only signing Spurs make in January — this is a team that has some serious flaws and is struggling right now.

But as a shot in the arm? Oooh baby. Can’t get much better than England’s England. The Mail says that she’s already said her goodbyes to her Chelsea teammates and that the official announcement will come soon. Tottenham’s next match is January 14 at Aston Villa.

I have long been critical of the way the club has supported Spurs Women since their promotion to the WSL a few years ago. There has seemingly been a disconnect between the club’s ambition to compete at the top of the league and the amount of financial support they’ve gotten for the club. Manchester United created their women’s team from whole cloth the same year Spurs promoted from the Championship, have thrown a lot of money (though comparatively a pittance to the men’s game) at the squad, and are challenging for the title this season. Spurs could easily purchase a title-contending team for the cost of one (1) Alfie Devine.

A big part of me rejoices that Tottenham are finally getting serious about backing their women’s team, but there’s also another part of me that hopes that this isn’t the end. Splashing £250k on one player is great, but it shouldn’t stop there if Spurs are serious about creating a strong, competitive team. And they should! Women’s soccer is experiencing a renaissance at the moment and interest is gaining every day. Stuff like this will pay for itself in short order.

I haven’t been this excited about a women’s football transfer rumor since the Alex Morgan days. Please let it be true.