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DONE DEAL(S): Spurs Women announce loans for Percival, Pearse, Boughton and Bowyer

It’s a regular old loanapalooza

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Tom Dulat - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur Women have announced loan deals for Ria Percival, Gracie Pearse, Milly Boughton, and Elkie Bowyer. We expected significant outgoings after Spurs completed the signings of Wang Shuang, Charli Grant, and Matilda Vinberg. The transfer window lasts until January 31st, so we could still see more movement.

Ria Percival is heading to Championship side Crystal Palace for the rest of the season. The all-purpose midfielder has been with Spurs since the 19/20 season. She was crucial to Spurs’ best league finish in 21/22 before she tore her ACL while on international duty in 2022. Ria has featured a handful of times since her return from injury in spring of 2023, but she has not yet reached her pre-injury form.

It’s more than likely this is the end of Ria at Spurs. If that is the case, I owe her a much longer goodbye than I’m giving her in this article. I’ll never forget her free kick goal against United to snatch us a draw I’m not sure we really deserved, or the joy of watching her help New Zealand to a historic first win against Norway at their home World Cup last summer. It’s always sad to see a legend and fan favorite (and a Spurs fan herself) leave the club, but it’s a great move for Ria as she looks to rebuild her full fitness post-injury and continue her incredible career.

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Women´s Super League
Goodbye Ria, I already miss u so much
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Elsewhere, young defender Gracie Pearse will join Championship side Charlton Athletic for the rest of the season. Last year, Gracie had a stellar loan with Bristol City that saw them win promotion to the WSL. Charlton is in a similar position (tied with Birmingham City for first on points), and it’d be pretty cool if Gracie could repeat that promotion trick. Gracie has made appearances for Spurs at center back and left back, but new arrivals at the club will see her move farther down the pecking order. Her contract runs through the end of the 23/24 season, so we may have seen the last of her in a Spurs shirt already (though it’s always possible she could extend if she really kicks on at Charlton). You might recall that Charlton Athletic’s manager is former Tottenham manager Karen Hills, however, Gracie and Karen never overlapped.

Tottenham Hotspur v Bristol City - FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup - Group D - Brisbane Road
Good luck, Gracie!!!
Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images

Finally, promising academy players Milly Boughton (who made her full debut in the Conti Cup this year) and Elkie Bowyer will appear on loan for Southern Premier Division side Ipswich Town. A dual-registration loan means Milly and Elkie will report to Ipswich Town for training and matchdays and continue to train at Hotspur Way on days Ipswich Town don’t train. This style of move can be helpful for young players looking for real minutes while still training full-time, as many lower-league sides are not yet fully professional. Milly and Elkie will have a familiar face there–Spurs academy forward Lenna Gunning-Williams is currently on a season long loan at Ipswich, where she has scored 9 goals in 13 games.

Here’s wishing our small—though potentially still growing—loan army health, fitness, and lots of goals (or clean sheets, if that’s what floats your boat)!