Chelsea sign England forward Fran Kirby from Reading

Wednesday 08 Jul 2015
Fran Kirby celebrates her goal against Mexico

England forward Fran Kirby has joined Chelsea from Reading for an undisclosed fee.

The 22-year-old, who scored the Lionesses’ first goal in their World Cup win against Mexico, has agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Emma Hayes’s FA WSL 1 side.

Kirby has scored 11 goals in five games for WSL 2 Reading this term, and was the division’s top scorer last season with 24 goals.

Fran Kirby: Gone in 60 Seconds

Kirby said: "Chelsea is one of the best clubs in the world and now is a really good time for me to step up in my career.

"Myself and my family feel very privileged to be a part of the club. It’s pretty incredible for me, the last couple of months have been a bit of a whirlwind and moving here is the cherry on top."

New boss Hayes said: "We’re delighted we’ve been able to get Fran on board, she is a very exciting young talent and I think she can go on to become a Chelsea great. 

"Our aim is to win trophies here and Fran can play a major part in that for years to come."

Fran Kirby in training with England

A pacey and skilful player, Kirby can play across the forward line and will complement a Chelsea line-up already featuring England team-mates Eni Aluko, Claire Rafferty and Katie Chapman.

She joined Reading at the age of seven and quickly progressed through the club's ranks, before joining England's U23s squad in 2013.

In June 2014 she earned her first senior international call, making her debut two months later and scoring in the 4-0 friendly victory over Sweden in Hartlepool.

Kirby has won 13 caps in all under Lionesses boss Mark Sampson, scoring three times.

By James Callow Content manager