Home » Upheaval in Manchester United’s women’s side as three depart

Upheaval in Manchester United’s women’s side as three depart

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United have recently announced the departures of Amy Turner, Christen Press, and Tobin Heath.

The trio join Jessica Sigsworth and Jane Ross who have also been released upon the end of their contracts, along with manager Casey Stoney who announced her resignation last month.

Upon their departure, the club the said they “would like to thank them and wish them the best of luck.”

Only signing on one year deals, the departure of the American duo comes as no surprise as they were only expected to stay while the NWSL was not operating during 2020.

Having both scored four goals last season, Press and Heath are joining up with the United States Olympic team to compete in Tokyo next month.

Following the Olympics, the duo are expected to return to NWSL clubs. Their rights are currently held by Racing Louisville, who picked them both in the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft.

However, it has not been confirmed if they will join Racing Louisville or seek a trade of their rights to another club.

Amy Turner, a stalwart in the back line making 24 appearances last season will be joining them in America having signed for Orlando Pride.

A bitter blow to the side, who finished fourth last season, the club mutually agreed with Turner to not activate the optional year extension on her contract.

Turner’s move is believed to be motivated by wanting to be close to her partner, Angharad James, who has also recently moved across the pond, joining North Carolina Courage.

Moving in the other direction, United have been linked with Martha Thomas from West Ham, Aoife Mannion of Manchester City and free agent Vilde Bøe Risa recently of Sandviken in Norway.

With such large upheaval in the squad, supporters of the men’s side may be shocked at what is happening. But such movement is nothing new in the women’s game.

Due to the low salaries and typically short term contracts, squad upheavals are a regular occurrence. Last season United made eight signings and had seven departures by comparison.

So the large exodus should not be a cause for concern just yet, but the continuing failure to replace Casey Stoney at the managerial helm does raise issues for supporters.

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