Towards the end of the last Women’s Super League season, Chelsea’s attack was stretched to breaking point. Fran Kirby and Pernille Harder were both sidelined through injuries for various spells. Then, in January, Bethany England left, swapping her back-up role to become a star player at Tottenham Hotspur. Consequently, the burden of goal-scoring fell almost squarely on Sam Kerr’s shoulders.
Unwilling to gamble her attacking hopes on one player any longer, manager Emma Hayes moved to bring in Mia Fishel, the American who joined on August 4 for a reported fee of $250,000. Fishel arrived in English soccer on the back of a wonderful two-year spell in Mexico, where she scored for fun with Tigres UANL. She made her debut for Chelsea in their opening game of the new WSL season – a 2-1 win over Tottenham – and scored her first goal for the club after just 28 minutes.
The striker known as “Big Fish” has moved into a bigger pond. But despite that change of country, culture and league competition, she remains the threat she has been throughout her career. If she can keep finding the net, she will force Hayes to consider how a Fishel and Kerr partnership might play out. And, having made her United States national team debut in September’s 2-0 friendly win over South Africa, she will surely collect more caps soon.
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