67. Maren Mjelde
Maren Mjelde took the big step in 2017, leaving behind Avaldsnes and Norway for pastures new with Chelsea in time for the Spring Series.
Initially used as a centre back as Emma Hayes waited until the summer to bring in further reinforcements in defence, Mjelde immediately showed her class and has continued to do so in a more progressive midfield role.
Popping up with important goals at important times, Mjelde is already repaying the faith Hayes has shown in her, but it was a disappointing year on the international stage for the Norway captain.
However, at 28, Mjelde is in the peak of her career and she’ll continue to be a crucial component for club and country over the next few years.
Emma Hayes, Chelsea manager says:
“It’s not just about her defensive qualities with Maren. She’s always been capable of goals – she’s got a good record for Norway and not just from set-plays, but also outside the box.”
Martin Sjögren, Norway national team head coach says:
“Maren is high in football intelligence with a great ability to read the game. She has a good passing game and is very adaptable to play in several positions.”
Katja Kragelund, Scandinavian women’s football writer says:
“Mjelde joined Chelsea ahead of the Spring Series and she made an immediate impact, featuring in all games that season and scoring twice. Chelsea and Mjelde went on to win the Spring Series. The ball controlling midfielder with an eye for goal has started the new season just as strong and has become a key figure in Emma Hayes’ side.