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Spurs Women confirm six players depart as summer roster churn begins

The summer restructuring has begun.

Tottenham Hotspur Women Training Session Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur Women have issued a squad update, confirming that six players have left the club either at the conclusion of their loan or their current Spurs contracts. Kerys Harrop, Chioma Ugobagu, Esther Morgan, Cho So-hyun, Kyah Simon, and Mana Iwabuchi have all departed — the initial five at the end of their Spurs contract, and Iwabuchi returning to Arsenal as dictated by her loan deal.

There’s always a lot of roster churn in the WSL, much more so than in the Premier League. Most of that is due to the majority of players being signed on short term contracts, meaning they swap clubs frequently. That’s the case here. I don’t think any of the players listed above were signed to anything longer than a two year deal. And I also am not convinced that this is the end of the summer clear-out at Tottenham.

I’m most disappointed to see the departure of Esther Morgan, a 20-year old Spurs academy product who looked to have a lot of promise and was sent out on loan recently to gain extra experience. It’s not clear whether her departure was due to the club not thinking she’s good enough, or Esther running down her contract and looking for a new opportunity, but it’s disappoiting.

Kerys Harrop was the former club captain at Birmingham City Women and has been a solid, experienced head in the back line, but was mostly deployed (kinda) out of position as a fullback this season. At 32, it’s probably time to let her go, though I appreciated her steady presence in the back line the past couple of years.

Iwabuchi was only here on loan, but while she showed some glimpses of the quality she brought to Arsenal and Japan in her prime, she didn’t have as much impact on the midfield as I was expecting. I suppose it’s possible she’s only returning to Arsenal so that they can confirm her departure from there, but I’m not sure we should expect her to rejoin Spurs this summer.

Ubogagu, Cho, and Simon have all been mostly bit players. Simon in particular has struggled with injuries during her time at Spurs and at 31 her production at striker can (and should) be given to someone younger. Ubogagu missed a significant amount of time, nearly a year, for an unfortunate banned substance infraction stemming from her use of a topical acne medication, but even when she played she was somewhat underwhelming. Cho, South Korea’s former captain, never really seemed to hit the ground running and also missed time due to injury.

There’s time and opportunity for Spurs Women to reload with better players with some key investment this summer. The signing of Beth England proves that Tottenham can attract top talent, and after a very disappointing season they’ll want to improve significantly. But they should also probably think about appointing a permanent manager, assuming they don’t give it to Vicky Jepson.