Why Man Utd’s three signings on WSL deadline day were so important

Of the four biggest name clubs in the WSL, Manchester United had the most to gain from a good January transfer window and also the most to lose from a bad one.

Determined to break into the Champions League for the first time after fading last season and narrowly missing out, United had gone into January hopeful of being productive in the market.

Manager Marc Skinner spoke positively and optimistically in late December, insisting that the club was ‘trying to be active’ and even specifically hinting at the American market, which he personally knows from his two years in charge at Orlando Pride in the NWSL.

The month began with United expected to land Sweden striker Stina Blackstenius, who was the hottest player on the market after deciding not to renew her BK Hacken contract that expired on New Year’s Eve following the end of the domestic Swedish season.

In the end, Blackstenius opted for Arsenal, who could offer her Champions League football immediately in the second half of this season, rather than simply the hope of achieving it.

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