Eriksson and Harder to leave Chelsea Women

Daily News
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Chelsea Women captain Magdalena Eriksson will leave the WSL club at the end of this season, with forward Pernille Harder also departing.

Defender Eriksson joined the Blues from Linkoping in her native Sweden in 2017, and has remained a first-team fixture throughout her time at Kingsmeadow, racking up 149 appearances and scoring 11 goals.

Harder joined Emma Hayes’ side three years later and was a landmark signing from Wolfsburg in September 2020. Chelsea paid a world-record fee for the Denmark international, which was beaten by Keira Walsh’s move from Manchester City to Barcelona last summer.

Harder has spent much of this season sidelined due to injury, but Eriksson has been vital in another successful campaign for Chelsea.

Both players featured in Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup final win against Manchester United and could yet help the club land their fourth WSL title in a row in their final weeks.

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Eriksson has already won four WSL trophies with Chelsea as well as four Women’s FA Cups and two League Cups. She also reached a Champions League final with the club in 2021.

Harder too was part of the that team, and as things stand, will depart the club with six domestic winner’s medals. She has scored 44 goals for the club, but could add more to her tally before her official departure.

In a statement posted on social media, Eriksson wrote: “It’s with a heavy heart and so many emotions I announce that my journey as a Blue will come to an end.

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Highlights of the Women’s Super League clash between West Ham and Chelsea.

“When I signed for the club the ambitions were clear, Emma’s openness with that really resonated with my own ambitions. I quickly realised it wasn’t just all talk either. Winning was at the heart of everything we did, and that competitiveness was contagious. Six seasons, four WSL titles, four FA Cup trophies, two Continental Cup trophies, one Community Shield later, it’s safe to say that the winning culture is now part of the Chelsea DNA.

“I’d like to thank the club, Emma and Paul for believing in me and supporting me from the moment I signed six seasons ago. It was my first time living in a new country, I took a leap of faith and landed straight into the arms of the Chelsea family.

“I’d like to thank my team-mates, current and old ones. Thank you for all the good times, all the competitiveness, all the support and all the love. You are a bunch of winners, a great group of people who truly know what it takes. Keep looking out for each other and have each others’ backs.

Chelsea lift the Women's FA Cup trophy at Wembley

Image: Magda Eriksson lifted the Women’s FA Cup trophy as Chelsea captain on Sunday

“I’ve deliberately saved the best for last. My biggest thank you goes to the unbelievable Chelsea fans. I felt your power on my debut game at Kingsmeadow and you’ve kept growing in numbers and strength ever since. Your relentless support, up and down the country and all across Europe, has played such a huge part in the success of the club.

“You will always have a special place in my heart, a place that will forever remain blue.

“I want to wish everyone at the club the best of luck for the future. It’s been one heck of a journey, and I will carry the memories we’ve created together for the rest of my life.”

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On Twitter, Harder added: “To every Chelsea fan around the world. It’s been a dream coming true playing for this amazing club and I’ve loved every single moment along the way. Thanks for your unbelievable support throughout the years. It’s been an amazing journey. So much love, Pernille.”

Manager Hayes said: “There are not enough words to describe the impact Magda has had, not just on this football club but on me. She has been a wonderful leader, someone who has helped drive the team and it’s standards to the levels that we’re at.

“Chelsea will always be her club, it will always be her home. She will forever remain a legend of this football club. She goes with my blessing and I wish her the best for her future.

Chelsea's Pernille Harder celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Leicester in the WSL

Image: Pernille Harder has scored 44 goals so far for Chelsea in her three years at the club

“Pernille is one of the best attacking players in the world and you see all of those qualities day in, day out. She has always been so driven to succeed, to get to the top and to help the team win trophies.

“Although she’s been missed with injury this season, we’ve seen especially in the last few games what qualities she has. I want to place on record my thanks for her brilliant contributions to the team’s success the past few years and I wish her the best for the future.”

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