Chelsea FC Women defender Maren Mjelde has signed a contract extension to keep her at the Blues until June 2022, with the club having an option for a further 12 months.
Mjelde joined Chelsea in January 2017 and has established herself as a key member of Emma Hayes’ squad.
The Norway captain has played a huge role in our recent trophy success, helping the Blues win the Spring Series, two Women’s Super League titles, the FA Cup and the Continental League Cup.
On signing her extension, Mjelde said: ‘I have been here now for four years and it’s been four great years. The team have been developing every year and it’s the best place to be.
‘I’m honoured and happy that I got offered a new contract and this is where I want to be.’
General manager Paul Green added: ‘We’re delighted to extend Maren’s contract. She is one of the leaders within the group and has played a big part in the team’s success over the years.
‘Having performed at the highest level for many years, we have no doubt her experience and quality will continue to help the club achieve success.’
Since arriving from Norwegian club Avaldsnes four years ago, Mjelde has seen first-hand the rise of Chelsea Women and the 31-year-old highlighted our semi-final tie against Lyon in 2019 as a moment of realisation that the Blues were making big strides in the right direction.
‘When I came to Chelsea in 2017, it was a really good team. I felt it was some levels up from the club I played for before,’ explained Mjelde.
‘You can see there has been a lot of changes. In my first season, we got to the semi-finals of the Champions League but we were not close at all.
‘The year after, against Lyon, we were pretty close to reaching the final. That’s the direction we want to go.’
The Blues booked our place in this season's Champions League round of 16 with a two-leg victory over Benfica in December and Mjelde believes there is enough quality in the current squad to achieve European success.
She said: ‘Of course, we want to win everything in England first, that is important. We also want to compete in Europe, we feel we belong there.
‘Last year, we were not able to compete because of the previous season’s performances. That was really hard for us.
‘For me personally and for the team, we really want to win the Champions League. That is one of the biggest reasons why I still want to be here because I feel like this team can do it.’