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Chelsea FC Women are delighted to announce the signing of Canadian international Jessie Fleming on a three-year deal.
The 22-year-old joins from UCLA Bruins - a football programme at the University of California, Los Angeles - after agreeing her first professional contract which commits her to the club until the summer of 2023
The tenacious box-to-box midfielder spent four years at UCLA Bruins and in that time made 75 appearances and notched 25 goals while majoring in Materials Engineering and minoring in Environmental Science.
Fleming has represented her national team at Under-17s and Under-20s level before becoming the second-youngest player to ever play for Canada when she made her senior debut at the age of 15.
Since then Fleming has established herself as the playmaker in the heart of the Canadian midfield having earned herself 77 caps, scoring 10 goals so far.
The talented youngster was an integral part of the Canadian senior squad that won a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and she competed at the Women's World Cup in 2015 and 2019. Last summer in France, Fleming played every minute of every game, she scored her first World Cup goal and was named the Player of the Match in Canada's 2-0 victory over New Zealand.
Upon signing for Chelsea Women, Fleming told the Chelsea FC website: "I knew I really wanted to play in the WSL, I think the league is doing really well right now and there is a ton of fantastic players in the league so that really excited me.
"For Chelsea it was the players here and I wanted to be in a challenging environment. Having conversations with Emma [Hayes] and learning a bit more about the team, I was just really excited about the environment and what it has to offer."
Individual accolades include being voted as Canada Under-20s Female Player of the Year in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and the Under-17s Female Player of the Year in 2014. Fleming was also named in the Best XI in the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championships and was a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, which goes to the top college football player in the USA, in 2017 and 2019.
Chelsea FC Women manager Emma Hayes added: "Jessie is one of the top young players in the world, so for us to be able to sign her is a testament to the work that has been done here for a number of years. She chose Chelsea, this was her priority, her first choice and we were over the moon to get her."
After German midfielder Melanie Leupolz and winger Niamh Charles put pen to paper, Fleming becomes the third new addition to Hayes' squad, ahead of the 2020-21 Barclays Women's Super League season.
Chelsea have also been further boosted by the news that Beth England has committed her long term future by extending her contract to keep her at the club until 2024.
The new contract caps a fantastic 2019-20 season for the forward, who played a crucial part in our Double-winning season, finishing as Chelsea's top scorer with 21 goals in 24 outings. Her pace, power and finishing ability were hallmarks of her outstanding attacking play last term and the 26-year-old is understandably delighted with the news.
"It's means a lot to me, especially being at such a great club that Chelsea is," England told the Chelsea FC website. "I've spent a lot of time here already, so being able to extend that and hopefully kick on with what I've already achieved at this club is exciting."
General manager Paul Green added: "We're delighted to have extended Beth's contract, as she has been outstanding in the last 18 months, playing a big part in the team's success.
"We feel that she is now coming in to her peak as a player and look forward to seeing how she continues to develop for both club and country in the upcoming years."
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