Since it was revealed back in June that their contracts at Olympique Lyonnais would not be renewed for the 2020/21 season, there have been plenty of rumours in circulation surrounding the next destination for England defenders Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood. All speculation was finally grounded to a halt when the pair were announced last week as Manchester City’s fourth and fifth summer signings.
Having ended their time in France by lifting Lyon’s fifth consecutive Champion’s League trophy, the full-backs were given their first taste of the WSL season on Sunday, when they started against Brighton, which concluded in a 0-0 draw. Both have arrived at City via free transfers, with Greenwood signing a three-year contract and Bronze a two-year contract respectively.
Although she only enjoyed a year-long stint with the club that is regarded as the best in the women’s game, Alex Greenwood, who says she “went there to win trophies and improve as an individual”, certainly achieved her aims at Lyon. As well as claiming this year’s Champions League title, she played a key role in a squad that also brought home two domestic cups and the Division 1 Féminine trophy.
Greenwood has also spent considerable time with Liverpool and Everton
Before crossing the channel, Greenwood captained Manchester United, who won promotion to the WSL in 2019 after just one season together as a squad. However, she maintains that “the other side of Manchester is now (her) full focus”. Greenwood has also spent considerable time at sides such as Liverpool and Everton, as well as boasting 46 caps for the national team, whilst being regarded as the Lionesses’ set-piece specialist.
In contrast, having signed with Lyon back in 2017, Lucy Bronze’s time in France has resulted in her obtaining a much more extensive collection of silverware. The world class full-back succeeded in retaining three consecutive Champion’s League and domestic league titles with the club, whilst accomplishing several personal achievements along the way.
Bronze was named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year in 2019, as well as receiving the FIFA 2019 Women’s World Cup Silver Ball for her consistent outstanding performance with the England national team.
There’s nowhere I’d rather be right now than with Manchester City
– Lucy Bronze
However, this will not be the right-back’s first stint in a City shirt, having won several titles whilst at the club between 2014 and 2017. Bronze has expressed how she is returning to her former team “as a better leader and person” and has made it clear that there was little doubt over her move as she reveals “there’s nowhere I’d rather be right now than with Manchester City”.
Fans of the WSL have eagerly anticipated the arrival of the full-backs who will play alongside a host of England internationals, as well as World Cup winners Sam Mewis and Rose Lavell for City.
Having enjoyed a string of successes at the highest heights of women’s football, it is certain that this pair will bring ability and flair in abundance to both their team and the league. High-profile transfers such as those of Bronze and Greenwood between top-flight teams will prove essential in attracting attention surrounding the WSL, allowing for wider audiences around the world to enjoy and appreciate the skills on show from some of the world’s highest ranked players.