Hayley Raso could prove to be influential in the second half of Everton's WSL campaign, under an increasingly strong side spearheaded by the managerial prowess of Willie Kirk.
According to Australian broadcaster Optus Sport, the winger is set to sign a deal with the Toffees that will keep her in Merseyside until the end of the season
Revealed: 👀@TheMatildas forward Hayley Raso is on her way to @EvertonWomen on a 6-month contract. ⚡⚡— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) January 16, 2020
Raso won't play for Brisbane Roar against Sydney FC in the W-League tonight.#OptusSport pic.twitter.com/vDLjWD8pAO
The 25-year-old has played exclusively across Australia and the USA since 2011. With Brisbane Roar, she won her first W-League campaign. In her career, she has tallied up a total of 152 appearances, whilst scoring a total of 32 goals. However, her record this season with Brisbane Roar has been much stronger than that, and she has scored four and assisted two in her eight games.
As well as domestically, the winger has also been a mainstay for the Matildas (Australia's Women's National Team), and has played on 40 occasions since June of 2012 where she received her first call-up for a game against New Zealand.
Her impact for Everton
There is no doubt to the fact that the Toffees have exceeded the expectation's of many this season, and they now sit seventh in the division with two games in hand over most of their opposition. The signing of Raso is a perfect statement of intent by the Everton board, and it looks as if they are happily to financially aid Willie Kirk in whatever way he wants.
Alongside another new signing in Izzy Christiansen, she will bolster the Merseyside club's attack, spearheaded by prolific Chloe Kelly. The blues have struggled for goals in a number of their games this season, but this window's signings could have an immense impact.
The implications for Australian football
Raso's move to Everton adds to an increasing fact that the W-League's reliance on the NWSL for survival is not sustainable. In only this transfer window, both Sam Kerr and Raso have now moved from their retrospective Australian clubs to England, and the WSL is now regarded by many as the highest quality of women's football in the world.
For a division that has only nine teams, something needs to be done to help give it a prolonged future, as it looks bleak as to what may happen to the division in the coming years. There is no better time for changes to be made to bring the W-League to one that is competitive worldwide whilst still being sustainable, similar to what happens Germany, Italy, France, and Spain.
With the 2023 World Cup looking highly likely to be awarded to a joint Australia-New Zealand bid, the biggest competition of the women's game could help bring major changes to football on the continent.