As Ji So-yun stated so eloquently, “As soon as a Blues, all the time a Blue.” After eight spectacular seasons at Chelsea, Ji has made the powerful resolution to move again to South Korea. Ji will end out the remainder of the 2021/22 marketing campaign with the Blues as they hope to finish their season with two extra trophies so as to add to the legend’s prolonged assortment of silverware.
Coming over from INAC Kobe Leonessa in Japan in the course of the January transfer window in 2014, Ji was extremely regarded by manager Emma Hayes. In eight seasons within the midfield, Ji has been not solely a world class participant, however a world class individual off the pitch that the club will miss because it continues its progress as a staple in girls’s soccer. Ji joined a club practically a decade in the past that was seeking to begin a brand new chapter, and she or he leaves a legend. The excellent midfielder has helped mildew Chelsea right into a club that has limitless prospects sooner or later and her contributions to the Blues over time can’t be overstated.
“What an honor and a privilege it’s been to educate one of the vital superb gamers the WSL has ever seen. There’s no query she’s been probably the most profitable participant from exterior our league …Ji’s helped the club develop on and off the pitch and she or he’s a wonderful character who can be sorely missed. I’ll miss her terribly and I’m so grateful for every part she’s accomplished for everybody on the soccer club. We’re in a significantly better place due to it.”
Ji’s teammates took to social media to specific their gratitude, notably Sam Kerr, Fran Kirby and Millie Brilliant, amongst others. Subsequent season, Chelsea must discover a option to exchange one of the vital irreplaceable gamers within the historical past of girls’s soccer. Whereas her departure leaves a large gap within the midfield for the Blues, it offers gamers with extra alternatives to succeed and lead Chelsea right into a future stuffed with prospects. Gamers like Jessie Fleming, Niamh Charles and Lauren James can be given much more time within the assault. Melanie Leupolz solely performed a part of the season this 12 months as a result of her being pregnant, however along with her high quality, she is going to slot again into the midfield, as nicely.
Whereas she helped put Chelsea within the place it’s right this moment with all of her objective contributions that led to a plethora of trophies, Ji’s colourful character is what makes her actually particular. Coming over from Japan at 23 years outdated can’t be simple for somebody who doesn’t converse the native language in the UK. By way of a great deal of help from the club, Ji realized on the fly, and lifted the Blues to their first Girls’s Tremendous League title in 2015 following the frustration that was 2014.
If every part goes in line with plan, Ji will conclude her Chelsea profession as a five-time WSL champion and a four-time Girls’s FA Cup winner. The South Korean will end her time with the Blues sitting in third for many appearances and second on the all-time assists listing. Ji performs soccer with such positivity, and there may be not a recreation the place she doesn’t break a smile. She could also be gone, and in a distinct uniform sooner or later, however Kingsmeadow will all the time be residence for arguably the best Chelsea Girls’s participant to ever sport the badge.
It’s all the time laborious to say farewell to a legend, however understanding what she dropped at the club makes the belief of her departure extra manageable. Chelsea is on monitor to contend for the UEFA Girls’s Champions League title someday sooner or later as a result of Ji and what she did to assist evolve this club that was determined for an orchestrator in the course of the park. Supporters ought to be proud and grateful to have watched the maestro with their very own eyes for eight storied years. Her presence and data lives on in her teammates. She could also be leaving, however till then, there may be nonetheless work to be accomplished at Chelsea. The Blues want to assist Ji bow out within the English capital in the one approach that is smart: extra trophies.