Chelsea Women are pleased to confirm the signing of Serbian midfielder Jelena Cankovic on a three-year deal.
The 27-year-old joins from Rosengard, who she had represented since 2019, and will wear the No28 shirt for the Blues.
‘I am really excited to join Chelsea and it feels great to be able to play in a team with such a winning culture and great players,’ said Cankovic upon signing for the Blues. ‘I am looking forward to seeing the fans and playing in front of them.’
Cankovic helped Rosengard claim the Damallsvenskan title twice during her time in Sweden, meaning her impressive haul of club silverware includes becoming a league champion in all four countries she has played in.
After spending her youth career with Perspektiva in Serbia, Cankovic got her first taste of senior football in her homeland with Spartak Subotica, winning the league title in all of her first three seasons, including two league and cup doubles, before moving abroad in 2013.
That was for one year with Spanish side Barcelona, where she again claimed a top-flight title, before moving to Hungary with Ferencvaros. Two more titles followed, as incredibly she became a national champion in all of her first six seasons in senior football, spanning three countries, between 2011 and 2016.
After helping Ferencvaros lift the Hungarian Cup in 2016/17, winning that trophy for the third consecutive season, Cankovic joined Vaxjo in the Swedish second division, earning promotion to the top flight at the first attempt.
Her impressive performances in Sweden saw her move to fellow Damallsvenskan side Rosengard during the 2017 season, in what was a record transfer between two Swedish clubs. There she won yet another league title in her debut season with the Malmo-based club.
She was a key player in the side when they were crowned champions again in 2021, scoring eight goals in 18 league appearances, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of that season’s Champions League.
The midfielder made her international debut for Serbia in 2013 and has since become a regular for her national team, with 53 caps and five goals to her name so far.
Commenting on Cankovic’s move to the Blues, Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes said: ‘Jelena is a top talent who has been developing really, really well in Sweden. We’ve been monitoring her for some time and we’re absolutely delighted she chose us.
‘I think her creativity in the midfield is something that will add to our team. She’s really switched on and I think she’s going to be a wonderful addition.’
The Serbian international becomes Emma Hayes’ sixth summer signing ahead of the 2022/23 season, following the arrivals of Kadeisha Buchanan, Eve Perisset, Katerina Svitkova, Lucy Watson and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd.
Cankovic will join up with her new Chelsea team-mates at Cobham in time for the start of our Women’s Super League campaign, meaning she will be available to make her debut when we kick off the season at Stamford Bridge against West Ham United on Sunday 11 September. Tickets for that match are available here.
Welcome to Chelsea, Jelena!