Although Keira Walsh plays a position in football that is typically underappreciated, Barcelona’s world-record cost for the defensive midfielder does not fly under the radar.
What effect will the world-record transfer from Man City to Barcelona have, asks Keira Walsh?
Because of Walsh’s prominence in women’s football, the Spanish powerhouses were willing to spend roughly 500,000 euros on a player who would have been unrestricted the following season.
Like Walsh’s contribution to the field, the importance of her departure from Manchester City cannot be overstated since it may lead to a shift in the women’s market.
Pernille Harder’s acquisition by Chelsea from Wolfsburg in 2020 for a sum in excess of £250,000 was a big declaration of their desire to win the Champions League.
But it was seen as an anomaly.
After England’s victory at Euro 2022 this summer, players in the Women’s Super League are beginning to understand their influence in the game.
Since the WSL became professionally run, players have usually completed their contracts because there aren’t many clubs ready to pay costs.
In recent years, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Everton have increased their expenditures; currently, Brighton, Aston Villa, Manchester United, and Tottenham are following suit.
This summer, Rachel Daly, a representative of England, moved from Houston Dash to Villa for a considerable price, while Manchester United paid for Maya le Tissier and Grace Clinton, two young players from Brighton and Everton.
However, Walsh’s world-record price is significant because it demonstrates that even elite clubs run the danger of losing their best players to rivals who are now willing to pay top dollar.
Walsh is irreplaceable, but City needs to fill the vacuum and, in order to do so, they will need to pay a lot of money to entice a midfielder away from a rival.
Since joining the team in 2014, Walsh, a devoted City supporter who previously remarked “being a City fan is something that will always live on in me,” had been a mainstay in their midfield.
With City, she made 211 appearances and took home eight significant awards, including the first of four WSL championships in 2016.
When in possession, Walsh is a playmaker from a deep midfield position, and when not in possession, he is a master at reading the game to protect the defense.
For her exceptional passing range and agility in confined spaces, she was frequently credited with sparking City’s inventive play, while her defensive tenacity gave the centre-backs more room to play out from the back.
Walsh has frequently been singled out by teammates for both club and country, and some have even expressed shock that she wasn’t nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or.
It is clear when she is absent, but due to the nature of her role, she is not usually credited when she is actively involved.
But her Player of the Match performance in the Euro 2022 championship game showed what she’s capable of on the international stage.
Walsh’s acceptance of a proposal from Barcelona, who are vying at the highest level for the major domestic prizes, came as no surprise.
Walsh was unable to participate in the renowned competition after City was eliminated by Real Madrid in the Champions League qualification rounds earlier this summer for the second consecutive season.
All that is left is the Champions League, and City has not demonstrated enough to be able to contend for it despite having won every domestic championship with them. They have also already won a significant trophy with England.
The thought of it is terrifying for Barcelona’s rivals.
Along with Lyon, the 2021 Champions League champions were already a cut above most of their European competitors and the best teams in England.
In addition to highly regarded Spaniard Aitana Bonmati, who will make her 200th appearance for the club in a few weeks at the age of 24, and Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, who is now out with a serious knee injury, their midfield also has the Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas.
With Walsh, Barcelona now possesses a midfield trio that is undoubtedly the most feared and revered in all of football.
After losing to Lyon in the Champions League final, they won their first European championship in 2021 and the domestic treble the following year.
Their chances of capturing a second European championship will only be boosted by this agreement, which will also increase their supremacy in the Spanish domestic league.
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