There’s more exciting news for fans of Tottenham Hotspur Women — a new addition to the squad! Spurs announced the surprise early signing of 28-year old China international midfielder Wang Shuang from NWSL side Racing Louisville this morning. The signing is made pending securing a visa and work permit.
✍️ We are delighted to announce the signing of Shuang Wang from Racing Louisville, subject to working visa and international clearance.— Tottenham Hotspur Women (@SpursWomen) December 8, 2023
Wang is somewhat positionally flexible, but she primarily plays as a winger, and generally on the right side of midfield. She joined Racing Louisville towards the end of the 2022 season and became a regular starter for what was a pretty poor NWSL side last year. Racing ended the most recent NWSL season in a pretty dour 9th place in a 12 team league; Wang had 2G (both from the penalty spot) and 2A, along with 0.26 npxG+xA/90 in 1300 minutes. Not exactly numbers that pop, but it profiles pretty well against other players in her position. Wang had an impressive nearly two year stint at PSG earlier in her career before returning to her native Wuyang in 2019 to play for Wuhan Juyang University. And we all know what happened in Wuhan in 2019.
I’m not really a NWSL watcher, but I’m given to understand that Racing Louisville were something of a hot mess and had significant coaching issues last season. Those that do follow the NWSL, however, are pretty high on Wang’s ability to be an impact player in the WSL. She profiles as a fast, dribbly, creative winger who loves to take defenders on and get to the byline, but her stats also show a bunch of progressive passing in her locker. This profiles an awful lot like the kind of player who would fit in well with the team Robert Vilahamn is trying to create at Spurs. While her Racing Louisville numbers aren’t spectacular, the feeling is that there were plenty of other issues that prevented the NWSL from seeing her at her best, and that a change of scenery could be exactly what she needs.
Interestingly, her signing means that Robert Vilahamn now has, along with Zhang Linyan, both of China’s starting wingers (Wang at RW, Linyan at LW). Wang can play and has played second striker for both Louisville and China, which gives Vilahamn some extra flexibility in how he wants to set up, especially with Beth England’s imminent return from injury. Wang is considered one of the best known international footballers in her home country and was considered one of their key players in the World Cup last summer, though China failed to qualify out of their group.
The more I learn about Wang, the more excited I am about her. She looks like a player that could provide a real spark in a high octane, attacking system. She profiles as someone who can both progress the ball herself through pressure and also facilitate quick attacking moves up the pitch, which is fun. It’s hard to know if she has a final ball on her, but she’s likely going to be relied on more to set up opportunities for England and Spurs’ other finishers to put away. I don’t know how long until we see her on the pitch for Tottenham, but it looks like a pretty astute, experienced signing as Vilahamn continues to retool this Spurs squad.