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Blue is the colour for promising midfielder Akpan
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Gavin Glicksman
Ashanti Akpan has her eyes on a bright future with Chelsea
Ashanti Akpan has her eyes on a bright future with Chelsea

Chelsea have handed promising midfielder Ashanti Akpan her first professional contract. 

Having joined the Blues in August 2013, Akpan has been with the club since the age of seven. 

She lifted the FA Youth Cup in 2021-22 and the FA WSL Academy Cup last season, which also saw her make her first-team debut against Reading in the Women's FA Cup in March. 

Speaking to Chelsea's official website, the delighted 18-year-old starlet said: "It's such a special and proud moment for me to sign my first professional contract at my childhood club. 

"I've been here since I was seven, so it really has always been Chelsea for me. 

"Being the place where I've grown up, it means so much more. 

"I'm very grateful to my team-mates, the staff and my family who have done so much on and off the pitch to make me the player I am today.

"I'm really excited for the future."

Akpan is now contracted until the summer of 2025, with Chelsea holding the option to extend her deal by a further year. 

General manager Paul Green said: "We're really pleased to offer Ashanti her first professional contract. 

"She has developed very well in the academy, she's a very technical player and has been outstanding in that programme. 

"She has been with us since she was seven and has come all the way through the pathway. We look forward to seeing how she continues to develop over the upcoming years."

Emma Hayes' side return to action in the FA Cup at home to West Ham on January 14. 

They then resume their bid for a fifth successive Women's Super League title when Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge seven days later. 


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