By Jonty Banks

3rd May, 2023 | 2:04pm

Evie Rabjohn transfer to Manchester United confirmed in bitter blow to Aston Villa Women long-term plans

Manchester United have agreed a deal with Aston Villa women for the services of highly-rated teenager Evie Rabjohn in a bitter blow to the club’s long-term ambitions.

The Women’s Super League giants confirmed via their official club website that the England Under-19 international had agreed to join the Red Devils at the end of the season but would train with Marc Skinner’s side immediately ahead of her formal registration.

Aston Villa will not receive compensation for Rabjohn, with the defender having only turned 18 in April of this year, and players open to moving on free transfers before signing their first professional contract.

The move comes as a massive blow to Carla Ward’s side, who currently sit fifth in the WSL and have made their intentions of climbing into the established top-four clear over the last 12 months.

Speaking out on the move, Rabjohn said: “This is such a big club and to be able to sign here with my family around me, is what dreams are made of.

“I’ll do anything for this team, to get us to where we want to be.”

The 18-year-old is a product of Villa’s academy and made her first-team debut against Sheffield United in the Conti Cup back in November 2021.

Since then, she has represented England at Under-17 and Under-19 levels and was awarded her first WSL start by Ward in the 5-0 thrashing of Leicester City in March.

Although Rabjohn’s departure won’t affect Aston Villa’s first team in the immediate future, it comes as a blow to the grander picture of the women’s side.

In the two years, the club have invested heavily in both the academy set-up and the transfer market, snapping up the likes of Rachel Daly and Jordan Nobbs, as well as seeing young talent such as Laura Blindkilde Brown rise through the ranks into the first-team.

Villa don’t want to become a selling club to the WSL’s top-four sides, and hopefully, the departure of Rabjohn will not be replicated in the transfer windows to come.

In other Aston Villa news, a Sky Sports stat reveal has highlighted the importance of one first-team player in the race for European football this season.