ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 18: United States defender Abby Dahlkemper (7) dribbles the ball in action during an International friendly match between the United States and Colombia on January 18, 2021, at Explora Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Our weekly January transfer roundup is back, and since last week, two clubs have signed significant players that should make an immediate impact on how the rest of the season plays out. If you haven’t, be sure to check out our week one and week two roundups in order to catch up on all the deals made so far.

 

BIRMINGHAM CITY

Birmingham’s second signing of this window is Irish international Ruesha Littlejohn. The 30-year-old striker has signed a contract that’ll keep her at the club until the end of the season.

Littlejohn has an abundance of experience under her belt, having played in the FAWSL for Arsenal (2010), Liverpool (2011-2012) and West Ham (2019-2020). She’s coming to Birmingham after a season at Leicester City in the FA Women’s Championship.

It’s clear that Birmingham are looking not only to add experience but depth to their squad. The team, who finished last season in 11th, and were almost relegated, are now currently in eighth, a massive jump in improvement over the past year. While they’re more or less safe from the relegation zone, if the club wants to compete with those above them, they need more players for Carla Ward to choose from for her starting XI as well as players who are able to make a difference off the bench.

Birmingham are two points behind Tottenham Hotspur in seventh, and four behind Reading in sixth. However, because Birmingham have had quite a few matches postponed, they have played one less game than Tottenham, and three less than Reading. These games in hand could make a huge difference, and if Birmingham can win even a couple of these games, they are suddenly in a position in which they are competing with Everton for a spot in the top half of the table.

Birmingham’s efforts to deepen their squad were likewise bolstered by the acquisition of Emily Murphy on loan from Chelsea. Just 17 years old, Murphy is a promising prospect who gives the club another option at forward this season.

Both Littlejohn and Murphy were included in the club’s starting eleven during their 0-0 draw against Brighton Hove & Albion on Sunday, making it clear that they’ll both be expected to make an impact straight away.

MANCHESTER CITY

Manchester City have only made one signing so far, but it’s a big one. They announced that USWNT defender Abby Dahlkemper would be joining the club on a contract that runs until 2023, making her the third American to join the team after both Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle joined back in August of 2020.

This will be Dahlkemper’s first stint in England. Prior to her signing with City, she was a standout defender for the North Carolina Courage. While the Courage retain Dahlkemper’s NWSL rights, it’s a massive loss for the club with which she’s won five trophies.

Saying that this is a big coup for Manchester City would be an understatement. Dahlkemper is one of the best defenders in the world, and both her club achievements and her accomplishments with the USWNT (six trophies including the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup) solidify that.

This is also a huge signing for City, as they’ve been crying out for a defender all season. The club, who are in fourth place with 21 points, are still very much in the title race along with rivals Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea. City have been dominant and exciting this season, especially going forward, but they have had some problems at the back. Dahlkemper could be vital to fixing these issues.


The transfer window ends on the 28th, and everyone will be watching to see what last-minute deals clubs will be making before the window closes. Check back next week to find out all about the final additions.

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