The 2023-24 Women's Super League season is fast approaching and it's been a jam-packed summer transfer window that has seen all the teams in the division boost their ranks, and if you're wondering which new signings are worth keeping an eagle-eye on, look no further.
To streamline things, we've only included players who are new to the WSL, which means even though Pauline Bremer and Vicky Losada are worthy of attention (both having moved to Brighton), just as Jill Roord -- Manchester City's only summer signing -- could be a key player, all have played in the league before so they don't get a bigger shout out on this particular list -- but look out for our WSL season preview which will include their moves.
Olga Ahtinen, 26, midfielder, Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham's new midfielder Ahtinen is one of the signings from the summer less likely to be pinging loudly on most people's radars, yet the Finnish international is likely to play a key role in Robert Vilahamn's new-look Spurs.
A box-to-box midfielder who should help ease the team into Vilahamn's possession-hungry style, Ahtinen's strength comes from how she ties play together, carries the ball forward, and looks for the best lanes for her teammates to attack. Coming to Spurs off of the best spell of her career at Linköping, Ahtinen is in her peak years, unlike other players on this list, and should be able to have an instant impact, leaning on her experience having played across the Nordic countries.
Kyra Cooney-Cross, 21, midfielder, Arsenal
Anyone who's been familiar with Australia's young midfield sensation, Cooney-Cross will be champing at the bit to mention her Grand Final-winning 120th minute Olímpico for Melbourne Victory. Yet, the 21-year-old Queenslander is far more than just inswinging corners and her rapid development. Since Australia boss Tony Gustavsson took charge of the Matildas, his faith in Cooney-Cross has helped push her to one of the most expensive transfers in women's football as she went for a fee of £301,000 ($373,000) -- its own symptom of a rapidly inflating market.
North London's 𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁 arrival 😉❤️ pic.twitter.com/G0vYDhQ3G1— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) September 14, 2023
Another in the growing list of midfield maestros, Cooney-Cross's strength comes from her versatility, having enjoyed a spell higher up the pitch in her youth, and is as comfortable playing centrally in the eight, fulfilling the box-to-box brief as well as pushing out into wider areas and running the channels as a progressive winger. Although how much Cooney-Cross features this season could depend on the fitness of those ahead of her in the squad, she could take up a number of positions if needed, her natural strength on the ball something that will be key to Gunners manager, Jonas Eidevall.
Daphne van Domselaar, 23, goalkeeper, Aston Villa
Having won plaudits when she stepped up into the starting role partway through the Netherlands' opening game at the 2022 Euros, van Domselaar immediately brought calm and organization to the Dutch backline despite her limited international inexperience.
Expected to leave Twente ahead of last season, the young goalkeeper spent another season in the Eredivisie before being lured away by Aston Villa, stepping in as a straightforward replacement for the departing Hannah Hampton. Now the Dutch number one, an honor her performances in England cemented, van Domselaar has grown in stature over the last 14 months, bringing a commanding presence between the sticks that belies her age.
Marie Höbinger, 22, midfielder, Liverpool
Another incoming midfielder to the league, Austrian international Höbinger will add much-needed depth to the Liverpool squad and offer strength in central areas. Still developing, the 22-year-old is adept at line-breaking through her passing and although isn't necessarily going to score the goals for the Reds, but will have a hand in making them.
Another who plays box-to-box, Höbinger can be deployed to help out at both ends of the midfield, slotting into a deeper role if needed, but is at her best when she has more freedom to mill in the center of the park.
Catarina Macario, 23, forward, Chelsea
Far more than just a mix of Brazilian flair and American athleticism -- which would be a potent enough mix - Macario's greatest asset is her intelligence which pairs with her vision, helping create key link-up play.
Traditionally a midfielder, Macario can play across the forward line to bring a different dimension and goal threat to attacks, rather than being the one to help set them up. It will be exciting to see how Blues boss Emma Hayes will utilise the young American international. With plenty of options in attack and midfield, and even if Macario is an assumed replacement for Pernille Harder, there are still a number of combinations Hayes could play to maximise the players at her disposal.
Hinata Miyazawa, 23, midfielder, Manchester United
Naturally a midfielder, Miyazawa caught the attention of the wider public with her displays at the 2023 World Cup, playing a wide attacking role that afforded the Japan international plenty of late runs into the box, using her innate sense of timing to cause maximum damage.
Still a creator at heart, Miyazawa's balance and clean close control coupled with her timing, make her more than a handful for any opposition player to deal with as she works the ball into better positions and get out of trouble. Likely to line up a little higher up the pitch as she did for Futoshi Ikeda's Japan this summer, fans can expect to see the 23-year-old having a hand in plenty of United's goals.
Sjoeke Nüsken, 22, midfielder, Chelsea
Another in the growing list of versatile Chelsea players, Nüsken will offer Hayes added options in defence if needed -- where she has been utilised too often for Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's Germany -- but is far better when in the middle of the pitch, rather than backline.
A press-breaker with a killer first touch and ability to recover possession, Nüsken is a great progressor of the ball from deeper positions on the pitch, and her accuracy when it comes to picking out teammates with a lofted pass will be key when Chelsea face low-blocks.
Martina Piemonte, 25, forward, Everton
A striker who's never (a spell at Fiorentina the exception) failed to score in whatever team she's playing for, Piemonte's move to Everton should go a long way to addressing the Toffee's lack of goals last season. The Italy international is coming to Merseyside off the back of her most successful season to date, having found the back of the net 13 times in 24 league appearances for Milan. Capable of wriggling out of defensive marshaling, the Italian is at her best when inside of the box taking up traditional poaching roles, and consistently offers an option for teammates in the final third.
Phallon Tullis-Joyce, 26, goalkeeper, Manchester United
The oldest player on the list, Tullis-Joyce is set to be the Red Devils' new number one, her arrival aligning with an assumed winter exit for Mary Earps. With Earps having been key for United since her move from Wolfsburg, PTJ has sizable shoes to fill but United's resident marine biologist is unquestionably up to the task.
Starting her career in the French second tier, Tullis-Joyce put in the hard yards, earning promotion to the top flight with Stade de Reims before earning a move to OL Reign where she was relegated to second choice behind Sarah Bouhaddi. Last season, she stepped into the spotlight. Quickly becoming a fan favorite for her displays between the sticks, her natural lankiness helps her deny shots to the furthest reaches of her goal.
Riko Ueki, 24, forward, West Ham United
The Hammers' third Japanese signing, Ueki joins WSL having enjoyed the most successful season of her career to date when she finished as the top goalscorer in the WE League for the 2022-23 season and managed to find consistency in her goalscoring.
West Ham is a different beast this season under boss Rehanne Skinner, and the addition of Ueki is an indication of attacking intent from the new coach who will be looking at helping the Japanese international continue to develop after eight years at Tokyo Verdy. Better when she doesn't have time to overthink her shots, Ueki will have to adapt to a different marking style in England, but having frequently led the line for Japan since Ikeda's appointment, shouldn't be overawed by the extra attention she receives from defenders.