Manchester City’s new signing Rose Lavelle admits the dearth of football in the United States because of Covid-19 left her open to offers from Europe, and that the prospect of playing in the Champions League was the immediate spur to her transatlantic move.
The 25-year-old midfielder was aware her stock had risen after winning the World Cup in France in 2019, but became frustrated by the lack of opportunities to build on that achievement. “The World Cup was an incredible experience, I loved it, but it is behind me now,” Lavelle said. “Now I have to look forward, to set myself new goals. There was heightened interest in women’s football and in me after the World Cup, but I knew I had to stay in the US because the Olympics were coming along. When that didn’t happen and there was no football of any kind happening for months I had to reconsider.
“I always knew I wanted to play in a different league at some point, other people have told me it would be a worthwhile experience and good for my game, so when this opportunity came up it seemed a great time to give it a go. I had to do what was best for me.”Lavelle joins her fellow US Word Cup-winner Sam Mewis at City and, though she is still to arrive in the country and possibly sit out a period of quarantine, she is grateful there will be friendly faces around when she is ready to play. “I’ve heard a lot about Manchester City from several of my friends, all of it good,” she said. “The club is one of the best in the world because of the resources they put into both men’s and women’s football. I like to think of my self as a creative player, and I hope I can bring a little flair to the final third, but by no means do I imagine I am going to walk into the City team. They are a strong side already, with a lot of good players.”As an experienced international, Lavelle is aware there are differences between the way the game is played in America and in Europe. “We run a lot in the US,” she said. “We have a really aggressive, fast-paced style, but I know from playing European opponents that they can be more tactical and technical, much harder to break down. I am excited at the possibility of playing in the Champions League, though, I grew up watching that without ever thinking I might get the chanceto play in it. I don’t want to start looking too far ahead, though. To be honest I’m just looking forward to a professional training environment in a city that lives and breathes football.”Lavelle is willing to confess she doesn’t know much else about Manchester. “I have no clue, I’ve got a lot to learn,” she said. “I have been told the football culture is amazing but I honestly do not know any more about the city. I’ll have a lot of exploring to do when I arrive, possibly with a new raincoat or two. I think I only have one at present, but I have been warned in advance about the weather.”