3 CanWNT stars who could make blockbuster moves in summer window
TORONTO – Throughout the summer transfer window, a few members of the Canadian Women’s National Team have swapped old crests for new adventures heading into the 2022-23 season.
Five-time UEFA Women’s Champions League winner Kadeisha Buchanan switched from Lyon to Chelsea, Adriana Leon departed West Ham United for Manchester United, and Jordyn Huitema left Paris Saint-Germain for NWSL side OL Reign.
However, a few other players could also benefit from a transfer.
As a relatively new addition to Canada's midfield, Cloe Lacasse still has plenty of room for growth within the national team.
A move away from Benfica, however, could be required to kick-start her progression to a starting role.
As seen during the CONCACAF W Championship, Bev Priestman's squad is currently redeveloping their midfield but none of the initial line-up adjustments have clicked yet.
However, Lacasse's exploits in Portugal earned her a call to the national team and her dynamic style of play could very well be of more use for Canada beyond her only nine appearances.
The 29-year-old, who was recently named Benfica's women's player of the year, has grown into a leading talent for the Portuguese side.
The club's top scorer for three consecutive seasons, Lacasse helped them secure back-to-back league titles and three cup trophies. Last season she registered 20 goals and 12 assists in 36 games across all competitions including Benfica's first UWCL group stage goal.
With a contract expiring in 2024, a transfer to a more competitive league such as the NWSL or to Germany or Spain (that all require athletic dynamism in the midfield) could be smart. Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, and Atletico Madrid would be strong fits.
If her qualities transition seamlessly and she has the same impact at a new club, it could force Priestman to pay more attention to Lacasse – a player who can aid Canada during their transition phase and in the long run.
Following a rapid rise throughout the national team program and recently a promising campaign during the CONCACAF W Championship, Jayde Riviere continues to make waves.
The 21-year-old full-back has become a focal point in Bev Priestman's squad and she's gaining attention elsewhere too as the University of Michigan student eyes a professional career in soccer.
"There's been conversations around [going pro]," Riviere told OneSoccer. "I still have a year of school and potentially I have another year if I wanted to take a COVID year as well but, yeah, there's been some negotiation around where I would like to go."
Asked by @bfque8 of @Canucks_Abroad about Jayde Riviere having earned praise from Chelsea manager, Emma Hayes, Bev Priestman wryly said:— Alexandre Gangué-Ruzic (@AlexGangueRuzic) February 19, 2022
"There's a lot of interest in Jayde"
She adds that she imagines a lot of top clubs will like what they've seen from her
Riviere confirmed playing in the United States, England, or France are all of interest.
Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes notably praised Riviere during the Arnold Clark Cup so a third CANWNT star may wear London blue but with a packed squad, it might not be the best in terms of minutes (an issue seen with Jessie Fleming).
A fitting option could be Houston Dash in the NWSL. Riviere is the natural replacement for Allysha Chapman with the CANWNT and could do the same at club level. Also linking up with Nichelle Prince and Sophie Schmidt and learning from England full-back-turned-attacker Rachel Daly would be beneficial too.
This selection may puzzle a few minds, but full-back Ashley Lawrence also makes this list.
The 27-year-old is a principal player for Paris Saint-Germain yet it is specifically her reliability and capability for her club which suggests a move away from France may be beneficial.
Since joining in 2017, Lawrence has helped PSG reach new heights and close the gap with rivals Lyon.
The club are the current Coupe de France champions (Lawrence registered two goals and one assist in the final), won the league title for the first time in 2020-21 and reached the UWCL semi-finals in three consecutive seasons. A routine starter in defence, Lawrence is a vital cog for PSG's success.
But as pleasing as being a one-club player sounds, it might be time for Lawrence to move on from PSG to get the attention and credit she deserves for her impact on the pitch – a narrative also mirrored when discussing the national team.
With a contract ending in 2023, now might be the best time to say au revior to Paris and try something new in opening another chapter.
A Champions League competing club in the Women’s Super League, in particular, would be a strong landing spot. Both Manchester United and Manchester City come to mind – especially with Lucy Bronze departing the latter.