04 January 2021

Which NWSL loan signings are staying in the WSL... and who’s on the way back to the US?

The women’s football news making headlines last summer centred around the wave of National Women’s Soccer League players joining Women’s Super League clubs on loan deals.

Most of the signings ran until the end of 2020 with a few having the option to be made permanent or to extend until the end of the season.

The decision to stay or go has to be made by the players soon as the NWSL pre-season begins in February with the first tournament beginning in April. While the WSL season concludes in May.

As the WSL returns to action this weekend, NewsChain looks at who’s staying and who’s heading back across the Pond.

Alex Morgan

Morgan has returned to Orlando Pride

(PA Wire)

Morgan put a huge spotlight on the WSL this summer as she confirmed she was signing a loan deal with Spurs until the end of 2020.

She played five games for them - her first regular minutes since giving birth to daughter Charlie in May.

Spurs confirmed last month that Morgan will return to her NWSL club Orlando Pride, so that’s your lot for now Spurs fans.

Jess Fishlock

Fishlock is staying until at least February

(SIPA USA/PA Images)

Fishlock has a season-long deal at Reading but it is understood there is an agreement that she will return to host club OL Reign in February in the lead up to the 2021 season.

The Welsh international’s presence has had a positive influence at the club, especially in their recent 3-1 victory against Brighton as she scored two goals and had an assist.

Rachel Daly

There has been no confirmation on Daly’s deal

(PA Archive)

England international Daly signed for West Ham back in September after a successful season with NWSL club Houston Dash.

Neither the clubs nor Daly have said whether she will continue at the Hammers or return to the US yet despite her deal running out at the end of 2020.

Denise O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan has returned to the NWSL (PA)

O’Sullivan signed for Brighton and Hove Albion in September from North Carolina Courage.

Brighton’s manager Hope Powell confirmed last month she would be returning to the US in time for the 2021 season to begin.

Alanna Kennedy

Kennedy is rumoured to be staying at Spurs


Kennedy signed for Tottenham in the summer on a loan deal that ran until the end of 2020 with the option of making the contract permanent.

She arrived from Orlando Pride but in the expansion draft her playing rights were acquired by Racing Louisville FC. 

While there hasn’t been confirmation on whether she is staying or going it is believed she will remain in the WSL.

Claire Emslie

Emslie has impressed at Everton since signing a loan deal from Orlando Pride in August, so much so that manager Willie Kirk has signed her on an 18-month deal.

Kirk said in the signing announcement: “She immediately made a big impact on and off the pitch on her arrival and, despite that impact being curtailed slightly due to a frustrating injury, I have no doubt she will prove to be key signing for us in the long-term.”

Shelina Zadorsky

Zadorsky hasn’t confirmed whether she will stay or go

(Zuma Press/PA Images)

Zadorsky signed alongside Pride team-mate Kennedy back in the summer on the same terms.

Tottenham haven’t confirmed whether she will stay or go but it is thought she will return to the US.

Emily van Egmond

West Ham wants to keep the Australian international

(AAP/PA Images)

Australian international Van Egmond joined West Ham in August from Orlando Pride.

The Hammers haven’t given an update on if she’ll return to the NWSL but it is understood that the WSL club are keen for her to stay.

Rachel Corsie

Scotland international is looking likely to remain in the WSL

(Sportimage/PA Images)

Corsie signed for Birmingham City in August from Utah Royals FC and her deal runs until February.

While manager Carla Ward hasn’t said if she will stay or go, the fact that Royals have been sold off to Kansas City FC will doubtless have an impact on the outcome.

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