New signing Bethany England is a “massive asset” to Tottenham, boss Rehanne Skinner has said.
England joined Spurs earlier this month after seven years with Chelsea, during which she scored 74 goals in 163 appearances.
The 28-year-old forward, who has also netted 11 times in 21 England caps and was part of the Lionesses’ Euro 2022-winning squad, could make her Tottenham debut in Saturday’s Women’s Super league match at Aston Villa.
Skinner told a press conference ahead of the contest: “Beth’s someone we identified quite a while ago and we’ve been working hard to try to make that happen.
“I think for us it is about the right fit and Beth is definitely the right fit for Tottenham in terms of her values and ours.
“She’s a top player in terms of her minutes on the pitch and goals scored, it’s incredibly high. She has a lot of experience and she’s shown she can score in this league, and so for us it’s a massive asset. It’s an area we’ve always wanted to strengthen since I’ve been here.
“It’s building blocks we’re putting in place, it’s the right time, and we’ve got the right person for the job.
“In terms of her quality and the things she’s going to bring to the side, they’re undoubtedly going to help to benefit what we’re trying to achieve.”
England’s move was reported to be a record deal between WSL clubs.
While Skinner stressed “don’t believe everything you read” in terms of numbers that have been reported, she added: “You pay for what you get. There was a transfer fee that needed to be paid.
“As a club we’re trying to evolve the team and it’s important you pay those fees when you need to, to get the right people in the door. Certainly as a footballer and as a person, she’s going to add huge value to our team.”
Two other England players poised to make bows in Saturday’s game after January moves are midfielders Jordan Nobbs and Lucy Staniforth, who have joined Villa from Arsenal and Manchester United respectively.
Villa boss Carla Ward said at her pre-match press conference: “I think with where we want to go and try to achieve, it’s important those experienced bodies come in.
“It will be a hugely positive impact on everybody. I think when you have winners come through the building, they raise levels. They’ll be good for the youngsters, and the experienced players.
“Immediately you can see Jordan, Lucy taking the youngsters under their wings, and I think everyone will thrive off them. We’re delighted to have them in the building.”
Villa and Tottenham head into the first match of the WSL resumption after a month-long winter break lying seventh and eighth respectively, with Ward’s side three points better off on 12 from nine games.
Ward added: “Spurs have got some great players and signing Beth is a massive statement. It shows their ambition and intent, so I only expect them to go one way in the new year. They’ll kick on now, no doubt.
“There’ll certainly be all eyes on (Saturday’s game). Hopefully it’s a good game for the neutral – you have two teams with very good players. It should be an exciting one, and one hopefully we can be on the winning side of.”