Maren Mjelde makes Chelsea switch

Norway's captain has made a move to the WSL.

Maren Mjelde makes Chelsea switch
Maren Mjelde makes Chelsea switch. Photo: Darren Walsh/Getty

With the WSL and Toppserien respective seasons barely over, Chelsea have already bolstered their squad ahead of the 2017/18 season with the signing of Norway captain, Maren Mjelde.

Success across Europe

Though many in England might not be as familiar with the Norwegian domestic league where Mjelde has been since 2015, leading Avaldsnes IL to their first ever stint in the UEFA Women’s Champions League this year as well as back-to-back second place finishes behind a rampant LSK side.

Mjelde is much travelled around the biggest leagues in Europe, her seven years at Arna-Bjørnar a distant memory after a solid year in Germany with Turbine Potsdam, a key member of the squad that reached the UWCL semi-finals notably scoring the winning goal in their round of 16 tie to knock Lyon out. A stint in the Damallsvenskan followed with a season Kopparbergs/Göteborg before Mjelde returned to her native Norway.

Having made her bow for Norway in 2007, Mjelde has become an integral part of the team – no matter who the manager is, Mjelde has made herself invaluable to the team. With over 100 caps for country and a wealth of tournament experience, routinely selected as one of the best and even making a spot in the team of the tournament for the 2013 Euros, when she captained the Grasshoppers to the final.

Versatile

One of Mjelde’s great strengths is versatility, naturally the anchor woman in midfield she can easily play further back, her defensive nous allowing her coach to push her into a centre back role or even out as a full-back. Having captained Norway and various club teams for the last few years she’ll bring a strong presence to Chelsea’s talented midfield, not afraid to make her voice heard or get her boots dirty.

Following the announcement Emma Hayes spoke of the "intent shown" by the club to capture a player of Mjelde’s class, citing her "leadership" qualities as well as "experience" and drive. The Chelsea boss keen to get her side firing on all cylinders for the next season and the Blues’ next foray in the UWCL.

Mjelde said she was "delighted" to have signed for the London club, talking about the wider ambitions of Chelsea, already to get stuck in on the pitch, the Norwegian international is looking forward to linking up with the team – officially a Chelsea player come 1 January 2017 – and can’t wait for the new challenges she’ll face en route to [hopefully] winning more silverware.

Mjelde's contract runs until 2018.