By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

5th Jul, 2023 | 9:10pm

Sky Sports journalist stunned as Hannah Hampton finds new club after quitting Aston Villa Women

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

England international goalkeeper Hannah Hampton’s switch from Aston Villa Women to Chelsea is a surprise move, but the Villans’ swift replacement shows the club’s improvements in the transfer market, according to Dan Bardell.

Hampton’s move to Chelsea was confirmed (4 July) by the London club, with the European Championship winner signing for Emma Haye’s title holders on a free after her Aston Villa contract expired.

The 23-year-old has been hailed as one of the best young goalkeepers in the world by her new manager and has been replaced by Villa by Dutch international goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar from Twente.

Bardell claims that Villa fans will be disappointed to let such a promising youngster leave the club o for free, but her swift replacement shows that the club have focused their transfer strategy for the better.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “I’m quite surprised she’s gone there, to be honest. Chelsea have got about five goalkeepers and most of those are international.

I don’t naturally see if she’s going to go there and be guaranteed starter straight away.

“She might possibly spend some time on the bench or possibly even end up going out on loan. Villa were obviously prepared for this because pretty much as soon as it was announced she was leaving they signed a new Dutch international goalkeeper [van Domselaar].

“There’d been problems at the start of the season when she lost her England and Villa place for a little bit of time. So behind the scenes, there was obviously stuff going on, a few fallings out.

“But it seemed like they’d come through that, and she was at her best towards the end of the season.

“It is a blow because she’s an England goalkeeper, she’s young and I think she’s got room to grow still. Her distribution is absolutely unbelievable. Every time I’ve watched her play, I can’t believe how good her kicking is, and how good her distribution is. She’s a huge loss, losing anyone after the season they’ve just had is a blow.

“They’ve reacted fast and got someone in to replace her, they’ll wish her all the best as she’s had a good couple of years with Villa.

“But I don’t really see where she fits in at Chelsea at the moment, but I’m sure there’ll be a play. She wouldn’t have gone there without certain guarantees.”

Villa did well to secure an elite replacement following Hampton’s departure, which Bardell claims is reflective of just how far Carla Ward’s side have come in their previously unpredictable transfer strategy.

“That was probably the contingency. You’d imagine they’d have known for a while that Hampton was going to leave and replace her with an international No.1 with a lot of games behind her and a similar profile.

“She looks good and looks assured. I think Villa are in such a good place with the women’s team. After an iffy first season in the WSL last season, where the transfer activity was a little bit scattergun and all over the place, the last few windows have been a bit more precise.

“They’ve improved and ended up finishing fifth in the WSL, and the new signings were a big part of that. Hopefully, there’s more to come and they can push towards getting a European place.”

In other Aston Villa news, van Domselaar stats show her to be more than capable of filling outgoing Hannah Hampton’s gloves next season.