Chelsea are delighted to announce the signing of Dutch midfielder Wieke Kaptein from FC Twente, with the 18-year-old returning there on loan for the 2023/24 campaign.

Kaptein wrote her name into the record books when she became the youngest Dutch player to be called up for a World Cup at the finals this summer. Upon her return, the midfield player has penned a four-year contract with the Blues and will continue her development with FC Twente this season.

Speaking on becoming a Blue, the teenager said: ‘It’s a really big club and I’m very honoured to be here. I’m looking forward to playing football for Chelsea. I can’t wait to meet the players and fans, but I am happy I can develop myself one more year in the Eredivisie.’

Manager Emma Hayes commented: ‘Wieke is a top young midfield player. She has brilliant energy in the middle of the park, but she’s also a player who can play between both boxes really well. She likes to get forward, she’s tenacious and her style of play will suit the WSL. She needs to go and keep developing and we look forward to her in the future.’

General manager Paul Green added: ‘We’re really pleased to bring Wieke to the club. She is a player we have been watching for quite a while. She has a lot of experience for such a young age having played regularly over the last couple of years for Twente in their first team. We look forward to seeing her do well for Twente this season and continuing her development.’

Having started her career with K.S.V Achilles ’12 in her birthplace, the city of Hengelo in the Netherlands, Kaptein signed for FC Twente aged 15 where she was part of the youth squad, before making the step up to the first team ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

At 15, she made her official debut in the Champions League and since then, the midfielder has made 63 appearances for the Dutch outfit. Kaptein has clinched silverware along the way including the Women’s Eredivisie title, while scoring in the finals of both the domestic cup and Dutch Supercup which FC Twente secured this year.

The teenager has individual accolades on her CV too, notably the ‘Women’s Eredivisie Talent of the Year’ prize which Kaptein won just after her 17th birthday. She is now preparing to represent FC Twente in UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifying for the 2023/24 season.

On the international stage, Kaptein has represented the Netherlands at Under-17 and Under-19 level before making her senior debut during a friendly against Poland in April. She is the youngest Dutch player to be called up to a World Cup and made her tournament debut against Vietnam in August.

Everyone at Chelsea would like to welcome Wieke to the club, and we wish her every success during her time on loan with FC Twente in Holland.