American forward Mia Fishel is set to join Chelsea, marking the latest high-profile move for the Women’s Super League club this offseason.
The two sides are finalizing contract details, according to The Athletic, and Chelsea reportedly paid a $260,000 transfer fee for the Tigres star.
That figure is among the highest transfer fees in the world. Chelsea paid over £250,000 for Denmark forward Pernille Harder in 2020 — considered a record in women’s soccer a the time — and over £200,000 for England star Lauren James in 2021.
Fishel will join Chelsea from Tigres in Liga MX Femenil, after forgoing the NWSL to sign with the club in 2022. The UCLA product was drafted fifth overall by the Orlando Pride in the 2022 draft. At the time, Fisihel said she thought she deserved “to be in a place where I would be appreciated and seen.”
“What I did was historic,” the 22-year-old told GOAL last year. “You don’t see U.S. players coming to Mexico. The rate at which the league has been growing was also very appealing. They’ve only been here for five years or so and the global media recognition, the passionate fans, playing in [large] stadiums, you just don’t get that in the U.S.”
With Tigres in 2022, Fishel scored 17 goals in 17 games to win the league’s Golden Boot award while also capturing a championship with the team. Despite her success as a rookie in Mexico, Fishel has yet to get a look from USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski as the team prepares to kick off the 2023 World Cup.
“Mia is a very good young player, we are very familiar with her qualities,” Andonovski said in January. “But as of right now, after looking at everything, we decided the forwards that we have in camp are going to give us the best chance to be successful.”
The coach added that where Fishel plays has nothing to do with her chances of making the U.S. roster.
“It doesn’t matter where she plays,” Andonovski said. “It matters what she does, but also what she does in comparison with the other players that she is competing with for spots.
“We analyze every goal she scores, the difficulty of the goals, the players that are around compared to the players we have up. We try and see how they will fit on the team that we have. I have to say that there are other Americans that have scored as many or close to as many goals in the same league or even outside of the league.”
Fishel’s move to Chelsea would put her in direct competition for playing time with superstar Sam Kerr. But she’ll have the opportunity to play alongside world-class players like fellow American Catarina Macario and Fran Kirby, and against some of the world’s best in both the WSL and Champions League.