Russia ace Abdullina becomes newest Chelsea signing as Emma Hayes boosts defensive ranks with Blues chasing WSL title

CHELSEA have strengthened their defensive options with the signing of Russia star Alsu Abdullina.

The left-back, 20, joins the Blues on a two-year deal following a one-season spell with Russian Super Cup Winners Lokomotiv Moscow.

The contract for defender – who has 30 senior international caps – will run until June 2024.

And the player is expected to link up with the WSL giants in the New Year.

On her Kingsmeadow move, Alsu said: “This is a big change in my life, a new challenge.

“I am very proud to be part of this team, which has so many great players.

“I want to continue to develop as a player and progress in London.

'I want to help the team to win as many trophies as possible. I am so happy to join Chelsea."

Alsu is thought to be the first player from Russia to make the move to England’s top-flight.

The defender began her senior career at Chertanovo in 2017 before a 2020 move to rivals Lokomotiv for whom she scored six goals in 36 appearances.

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The full-back started out in Chernatovo’s academy at the age of 14 before going on to make her first-team debut three years later.

And the starlet went on to win a bronze medal with the club in Russia’s Women’s Football Championship – a league competition for the nation's top tier clubs.

Alsu, who is considered adept at playing in other left-sided positions, made her senior international debut for her country in 2017.

Since then, the player has scored three goals and featured for Russia in qualifying matches for the 2022 Euros and 2023 World Cup.

Of her newest signing, Blues boss Emma Hayes: “Alsu is a very good young player who has accumulated a lot of club and national appearances for her age, including winning the league a number of times with Lokomotiv.

“Alsu is a versatile player who can play any position on the left, adding more depth to the squad.

“We look forward to seeing how she develops in our environment over the next couple of years.”

Alsu helped her old side Lokomotiv to win Russia’s Super Cup earlier this year. 

And the starlet has become the second defensive player to join Chelsea this year following their swoop for Netherlands starlet Aniek Nouwen in May.

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