In Focus: Roord ready to make Citizens title challengers
Manchester City are ready to unleash Jill Roord on the Women's Super League.
The Dutch midfielder arrived from Champions League runners-up Wolfsburg in July, adding more quality to a side with serious title aspirations this term.
As Roord prepares to face England with the Netherlands in the Nations League, we take a look at what she will bring to the Citizens in 2023-24.
After returning to England's top flight, Roord has been clear about her ambitions for the campaign ahead.
She said: "We want to win the league.
"In England, that's not easy, because I think there are four, maybe more teams fighting to win it, but we have the quality and the ambition, so that's what we're going for.
"I don't really like to do that and focus too much on that. But I obviously want to be important for my team and I hope to develop here.
"It's a new step and a new way of playing. I hope I'm going to be important for City and we can do successful things."
Roord's performances in the Frauen-Bundesliga suggest that she could make a big impact for City.
The 26-year-old scored 11 goals in all competitions for Wolfsburg during 2022-23 and netted 20 in the previous campaign.
She joins the Citizens after reaching last season's Champions League final and also boasts previous WSL experience, having spent two years with Arsenal between 2019 and 2021.
Manager Gareth Taylor has highlighted the importance of such a high-profile signing for his side.
He said: "We've known Jill for a long time.
"She was playing for Arsenal during my first season here, then we tracked her when she went to Wolfsburg.
"It's not easy to bring these players in, everybody else is competing for them.
"But once we had good initial conversations, it was pretty straightforward in terms of our vision for her and how she saw things.
"She offers us good quality, a goal threat, a hell of a lot of experience, not just of the WSL but the Champions League and on the international set-up.
"We see her as being one of the best players in that position in the world. We want to make her the best."
No player in the Frauen-Bundesliga had a higher percentage of successful take-ons than Roord (83.3%) last season.
She also ranked in the top 10 for goal-creating actions per 90 minutes (0.73), as well as an impressive pass completion rate of 86.5%.
Roord has been in similarly deadly form for the Netherlands and plundered four strikes from four outings in the Women's World Cup.
That ability to both carry the ball forward and pick out team-mates — as well as her obvious goal threat — will only help a City side that scored 50 times in 22 WSL matches last term.
City will hope the addition of Roord helps them close the gap to champions Chelsea and cross-city rivals Manchester United.
Taylor's side finished 11 points off top spot in 2022-23 — but their ambition is clear ahead of Sunday's opener at West Ham.
Roord said: "Playing in England again is like a dream. In my conversations with Gareth [Taylor], I heard everything that I wanted to hear.
"It is the perfect fit."
First, Roord will have her eyes on taming the likes of City team-mates Chloe Kelly and Jess Park as the Lionesses visit Utrecht tonight.