Who should Europe’s top women’s teams sign this summer?

The 2024 summer transfer window is upon us and while some big deals have already been confirmed — such as Lena Oberdorf (Bayern Munich), Mariona Caldentey (Arsenal), and Ewa Pajor (Barcelona) — and stars like Chelsea‘s Fran Kirby and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema have revealed they will be leaving on a free transfer at the end of June, there are still plenty of clubs who could do with reinforcements.

So who should some of Europe’s top clubs sign this summer? Here is one suggestion [mostly rooted in reality] for 15 of the top clubs across Europe.

WSL

ARSENAL

Most of the pieces to challenge the Women’s Super League top two of Chelsea and Manchester City are already there and it’s been injuries that have hit Arsenal hard over the last season-and-a-half, but there is also no escaping the fact they have failed to replace defender Rafaelle after her move to NWSL. Lotte Wubben-Moy stepped up well and Leah Williamson is on her way back to form following an ACL injury, but a calm and experienced head at the heart of defence is still missing for Jonas Eidevall’s team. With American star Emily Fox having fitted in seamlessly since her January move, the Arsenal backline could be bolstered further by signing her compatriot Emily Sams (nee Madril) who is in flying form for Orlando Pride.

CHELSEA

A team with an embarrassment of riches across the pitch, and depth as far as the eye can see, the area that might need more strengthening for WSL champions Chelsea in their post-Emma Hayes era is in defensive midfield. Sophie Ingle and Melanie Leupolz are able to do a job for the Blues but have moved beyond their peak years, so reinforcement could be worthwhile under new boss Sonia Bompastor. Although Arsenal have been long been linked with a move for England and Barcelona star Keira Walsh, Chelsea could upset the applecart with a bid upwards of €500,000 for a player who could naturally slot into the base of their midfield.

LIVERPOOL

There’s always a sense that coach Matt Beard has a trick or two up his sleeve in the transfer window, with his ability to court agents across Europe helping him find the right players to bolster his teams. But, looking close to home than some of his recent successes, Bristol City‘s lauded centre-back Naomi Layzell would be a sensible long-term option for the Reds as she’s only 20.

MAN CITY

City came close to stopping Chelsea’s WSL run last season but while they have one of the most fearsome attacks in the world, they could do with a few more options in the middle of the park. And though City have not enjoyed much success with Danish players in their history, a move for FC Rosengård‘s 23-year-old Denmark international Olivia Holdt could be the signing that breaks the streak.

MAN UNITED

United were interested in signing North Carolina Courage attacker Kerolin last summer and could easily re-ignite their quest for the Brazil international’s signature ahead of the new season. Although still rehabbing from an ACL injury picked up in the autumn, the 24-year-old would add some much-needed dimensionality to the United attack.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

This one is simple: Grace Clinton. The 21-year-old midfielder enjoyed a breakout season with Spurs during a loan spell from Man United last season, scoring four goals and grabbing four assists from 20 WSL games. Though she missed out on playing in the FA Cup final against United due to a stipulation in the deal that she couldn’t play against her parent club. A summer transfer will be tough to pull off for Spurs as United are reportedly unwilling to let the England international leave, so maybe this is one to come back to in January if she is sat on the bench for a half a season at Old Trafford.

Around Europe

BARCELONA

What do you get for the team that has everything? If there was any area Champions League winners Barcelona were lacking, it was at centre-forward. But the signing of VfL Wolfsburg’s Pajor has just solved that one. So we can only add more depth to a side that won four trophies last season and that should come from Chicago Red Stars and USWNT forward Mallory Swanson. The 26-year-old has recovered from a nasty knee injury that took her out of the 2023 World Cup and is in in flying form for her club now.

BAYERN MUNICH

The moves don’t always work out, but Alexander Straus’ Bayern have a habit of looking to the Nordic region of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden for signings. And when they look now they can’t fail to notice Stabæk’s Iris Omarsdottir. The 20-year-old striker is in good form in Norway, with eight goals in 12 games, and would provide a solid option off the bench that could ease the burden up front on Lea Schüller.

JUVENTUS

Another side heading for a potential overhaul over the course of the next year, Juventus will need to blend experience with up-and-coming talent. As such, Australia forward Hayley Raso is an experienced player who has turned out for eight clubs already during her short career and will leave Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer. The 29-year-old could be just what the Bianconere are looking for as they try to catch up to Roma in Serie A.

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LYON

It would put a cat among the pigeons, and it is very unlikely to happen … at least not this summer. But if there’s a player Lyon should sign it’s Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmatí. Ther 26-year-old Ballon d’Or winner is yet to confirm a new deal with Barcelona, so there will continue to be speculation about her future until she signs on the dotted line. With eight-time UWCL champions Lyon looking to reestablish themselves as the dominant force in Europe, what better statement than to sign the best player from their rivals for that position.

PARIS FC

The Champions League’s favourite giant killers could benefit from a little bit more everywhere to help them keep pace with the top two of Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain in France. But they wouldn’t have to look far to see Fleury’s young striker Rosemonde Kouassi, who had five goals in 19 games this season. The Ivory Coast international has a year left on her current contract but Les Essonniennes wouldn’t be too happy to see her move to a direct rival.

PSG

A goal scorer everywhere she goes, Tabitha Chawinga‘s loan spell at PSG from Chinese side Wuhan Jianghan University has been no exception and she bagged 18 goals and 11 assists from 19 league games this season. There’s no question every top club will be vying for the Malawi international’s signature this summer but there’s a logic to the striker staying exactly where she is. PSG should be doing everything they can to turn her loan into a permanent move.

REAL MADRID

Las Blancas are still a long way off Barcelona in Liga F and their struggled throughout the season showcased a need for an experienced player. With that in mind, 34-year-old Spain striker Jenni Hermoso would be a savvy signing. A local who cut her teeth with Atlético Madrid and Rayo Vallecano before two spells at Barcelona, as well as a return to Atleti and turns across Europe, if there’s one thing Hermoso knows about it’s winning Spanish titles. Having only moved to Liga MX Femenil club Tigres UANL from Pachuca at the start of the calendar year, it’s unlikely Hermoso will be moving back to Spain any time soon, but as someone who can lift those around her and make a team click, she would be a perfect fit for Madrid.

ROMA

WE League MVP for 2024, Kiko Seike is a defender, midfielder, and attacker all rolled into one, and has already announced her impending exit from Urawa Red Diamonds. The Japan international’s positional flexibility would make her a fantastic fit for Alessandro Spugna’s Roma side, and with international teammates Saki Kumagai and Moeka Minami already on the books in the Italian capital, the move could be an easy transition off and on the pitch.

WOLFSBURG

Another team that needs a little bit of everything this summer, Wolfsburg have been busy trying to replace key players (Oberdorf to Bayern, Pajor to Barcelona, Dominique Janssen, TBC) they’ve lost and although more defensive cover would be a better place to start, bringing in striker Romée Leuchter from Ajax would certainly help to keep their goal tally up now Pajor has left. Leuchter, 23, netted 20 goals in 18 league games last season and her signing would also have the benefit of pairing her with Netherlands international teammates Lynn Wilms, Fenna Kalma, and Lineth Beerensteyn (who is arriving from Juventus.)