Man City Women manager Gareth Taylor lifts lid on transfers

Jill Roord arrives at the Joie Stadium from Wolfsburg, while Hayley Raso announced her departure immediately after last seasons final game – she heads to Real Madrid. The club have recalled Jess Park and Ruby Mace from their loan spells to join the City ranks this coming season.

Other than a minor shuffle, all has been still in the blue half of Manchester since last summers devastating mass exodus. City have appeared to be a closed shop, even throughout the January transfer window.

But quality over quantity, right? City boss Gareth Taylor said: When you look at how the league played out. It was very close. With 22 games in a season, the nature of the set-up, that means it is always going to be quite tight.

I think a lot of teams are improving now, were trying to improve alongside that but it is always going to be fairly tight. Sometimes at the end of it, you feel like youre a long way away from it, but everything suggests we were very close. So why take a bomb to the squad and tear it apart, there was no need.

And we feel this group, particularly with the personalities they have, we feel there is more to be squeezed out of them and that they can squeeze more out of themselves as well.

At the end of the day, people will think what they think. What we do is we have a plan in place for us that we work to. We have a look at the players who fit our model really well. But it is always evolving.

For me, it is a different feeling this summer to last summer. Last summer we had a lot of incomings and outgoings then, with new players coming into the league. Theyve now had a season under their belt and have a lot more experience. They have a lot more knowledge of the league but also knowledge of us as a club. In terms of feeling confident going into the new season, I think that is really exciting.

The latest additions to Taylors ranks have a strong pedigree, all having competed on the international stage. Roord had a stellar time in a Dutch shirt at the World Cup. She scored four in as many games, narrowly missing out on a hat-trick against Vietnam. On the midfielder, Taylor said: I think Jill is a top player of course, she has proven WSL pedigree, Champions League pedigree and is an international star as well. For us, it was just about identifying she was the right fit for us. So far Ive been really impressed with her. Were excited about her coming and complementing the team as well.

Park was recalled from her successful spell with Everton, and the 21-year-old was even selected for Sarina Wiegmans World Cup squad but was forced to withdraw due to injury.

Jess is a player Ive always really enjoyed working with. Shes done so much at such a young age. For her to be pushing into international recognition, particularly around some of the others in the team the likes of Chloe [Kelly] and Lauren [Hemp], that shows how well she has done. She is probably someone we didnt really want to lose last season, but we felt it was really important for her to go and gain that experience at Everton and play regularly, added Taylor.

For us now, with Ruby coming back as well, I think it is good to have her because were going to mount a real solid challenge this season but to do that well need to have strength in depth.

Mace spent the 2022/23 season with Leicester City after returning from a thigh injury The 20-year-old is representing England in the youth stages, moving up to the U23 squad in the new international format involving eight European Nations.

Midlands football reporter Hannah Pinnock watched Mace closely last season with the Foxes and said: Aside from [Janina] Leitzig, I thought Mace was Leicesters most important player. If she played well, Leicester played well. The win over Liverpool for me was her best performance in a Leicester kit – with her touch, close control, and passing range, she has everything to become a top player in the future.