In a groundbreaking move that has sent ripples across the world of women’s football, 17-year-old Lexi Potter has signed her first professional contract with Chelsea FC. The young midfielder’s contract runs until the summer of 2026, and she will spend the 2023/24 season on loan at Crystal Palace.
The Journey So Far
Lexi Potter’s journey to professional football has been nothing short of inspirational. Her career began with Southwark Cribbs FC before being spotted by Arsenal at the U11 level. She later transferred to Chelsea’s academy, where she has excelled for the Under-21 side.
A Historic Milestone
Potter’s signing represents a watershed moment in English football history, as she becomes the first female player in the country to sign a professional contract at the age of 17. “It’s an absolute dream come true for me and my family,” Potter explained. “I’ve been here since I was eight years old, and it’s everything you could ever dream of.”
The Crystal Palace Loan
Potter will spend the next season on loan to Crystal Palace in the Women’s Championship as part of her development. Crystal Palace head coach Laura Kaminski was enthusiastic about the young player, saying, “We’re excited to work with her to further her – and the club’s – progression together.”
Potter has also made an impression on the international level, captaining England’s Under-17 team to the semi-finals of the UEFA Women’s U17 Euros this summer in Estonia. Her leadership abilities and technical skills have been praised by both coaches and teammates.
Chelsea’s General Manager Paul Green commented on the signing, “Lexi is a very bright prospect, and we’re really proud that we have been able to make her the first female player to sign a professional contract at the age of 17 in the country.”
Potter’s loan to Crystal Palace is viewed as a critical step in his development. It will provide her the chance to obtain significant first-team experience and continue her development in a tough league. Potter’s deal is not only a personal triumph, but also a historic turning point for women’s football in England. It provides opportunities for young female athletes and establishes a precedent for what is achievable in the sport.