American forward Mia Fishel in discussions to join Chelsea Women: Sources

American forward Mia Fishel is in discussions to join English side Chelsea, sources briefed on the move confirmed to The Athletic. One of the sources said the parties are finalizing contract details.

Mexican news outlet A.M. reported that Chelsea paid a $260,000 transfer fee for Fishel. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Fishel was selected in the first round of the 2022 NWSL Draft by the Orlando Pride, but opted instead to go to Tigres in Liga MX Femenil.
  • At the time, Fishel told the draft did not allow her enough control over her career, and that, “I think that I deserve to be in a place where I would be appreciated and seen.”
  • Fishel signed with Tigres in January 2022 and quickly became their top goalscorer through the 2022-23 season. She won a championship with the team last year, in the 2022 Apertura.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

What does this mean for Chelsea’s roster?

Chelsea is no stranger to splashing out comparatively big fees in the women’s game; ABC reported in 2019 that superstar forward Sam Kerr signed at Chelsea on a deal worth over $400,000/year, and in 2020 the club paid over $300,000 for Pernille Harder’s transfer fee from Wolfsburg.

Fishel’s signing is an interesting one on a team absolutely stacked with forwards, including Kerr, Fran Kirby and Lauren James. Kirby did sustain a serious knee injury in May that precluded any consideration for England’s World Cup roster, and Catarina Macario is still returning from an ACL whose timeline also ruled her out for the United States at the World Cup. Macario is also more of a midfielder, while Fishel has been pretty much an out-and-out 9 for Tigres, with the great bulk of her goals coming centrally and inside the box. However, that area in front of the goal is also where Kerr operates for Chelsea, so competition for a starting spot could be quite stiff.

However, Fishel’s dominance in Liga MX Femenil has clearly demonstrated she’s been ready to make the jump to a bigger club for a while, and given her clear U.S. national team ambitions, playing in a league with bigger reach with and against Kerr- and Harder-level players is a strong move to get more onto the national team radar.

Is this bad news for Tigres?

In the sense that they’re losing such a huge scorer, Tigres will feel the loss of Fishel. But in combination with their previous transfer of Uchenna Kanu to Racing Louisville for a $150,000 transfer fee, the club seems to be continuing to position itself as a mover in the women’s global transfer game. Solid players like Kanu and Fishel help Tigres win championships, and Tigres eventually get a nice boost to the eventual transfer fee with their championship-winning players.

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(Photo: Azael Rodriguez / Getty Images)

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