Ji So-Yun will depart Chelsea at the end of the 2021/22 season and return to her native South Korea, bringing an end to her eight-year stay in west London.
The playmaker joined the Blues from INAC Kobe Leonessa in 2014 and has gone on to score 68 in 208 appearances, lifting 11 trophies in the process. She will go down as one of Chelsea and the WSL’s all-time greats.
“What an honour and a privilege it’s been to coach one of the most amazing players the WSL has ever seen,” said Chelsea boss Emma Hayes. “There’s no question she’s been the most successful player from outside our league.
“Ji’s helped the club grow on and off the pitch and she’s a fabulous character who will be sorely missed. I will miss her terribly and I’m so grateful for everything she’s done for everyone at the football club. We are in a much better place because of it.”
Ji is one of four Chelsea players out of contract at the end of the 2021/22 campaign, alongside Maren Mjelde, Drew Spence and Jonna Andersson. The latter has confirmed that she will depart for Hammarby at the end of the season, while both Spence and Mjelde will also be made free agents in the summer unless the current sanctions placed on Chelsea by the government are lifted.
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“It’s been difficult but I have had to make a hard decision to leave Chelsea after eight years. I honestly can’t express with words how I feel,” Ji told Chelsea’s official club website.
“Being here eight years, a lot have things have changed, but only in a good way. We have grown so much as a club, and also all those trophies that we’ve lifted.”
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