A talented, creative midfielder, Karen Carney started the 2017/18 Double-winning season well before injury brought her campaign to an early conclusion.
Carney signed for the Blues from Birmingham in 2016.
She has represented England more than 100 times and played a key role as the Lionesses finished third at the 2015 World Cup and was part of the England squad which reached the semi-finals of Euro 2017. She also represented Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics.
Her first season at Chelsea may not have brought the silverware she had wished for upon signing for the club, but Carney’s form was one of the plus points of a campaign which ended with her taking home the club’s Player of the Year honour as voted for by the coaching staff.
Emma Hayes highlighted her quality from set-pieces and that was apparent throughout the season as dead-ball situations proved to be a regular source of joy in the attacking third, and Carney herself contributed four goals. She also fired a hat-trick for England in qualifying for Euro 2017.
Her versatility meant she featured in a number of positions; having started the season flitting between wide areas and as a No.10, Carney excelled as a false No.9 at her old club Birmingham in perhaps our most impressive away performance of the campaign, and she finished 2016 playing in a central midfield partnership with Katie Chapman, where her vision and range of passing perfectly complemented the skipper.
She was awarded an MBE in Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to football and at the start of the 2017 season signed a new contract committing herself to Chelsea until 2020.
Upon signing her new deal, Carney stated her desire to win major team honours following a trophyless maiden campaign with the club. She was a key player once again in the 2017 Spring Series, mainly from the deeper midfield role in which she finished the previous season, and her set-pieces remained a regular source of goals.
Carney was on target herself on four occasions, beginning with a rare headed goal against Reading and finishing with a penalty against her old club Birmingham City on the final day of the campaign, which helped us on our way to a title-clinching win. The emotion displayed upon converting the spot-kick left onlookers with little doubt as to how much it meant to this serial winner.
The midfielder began her career with Birmingham City before joining Arsenal in 2006, going on to win the quadruple in her first season in north London.
From Arsenal, Carney made the move to the USA experiencing the Women's Professional Soccer League with the Chicago Red Stars before returning to Birmingham in 2011.
In her second spell with her hometown club she scored a late equaliser and the winning penalty as Birmingham beat Chelsea to win the 2012 FA Women’s Cup.
With Carney pulling the strings Birmingham enjoyed plenty of success finishing second in the FA Women’s Super League in 2012 and third in 2014. They also reached the semi-final of the 2013/14 UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Internationally Carney has been a regular for England since making her debut in the 4–1 victory over Italy in 2005, coming off the bench to score England’s fourth goal.
From then on Carney was an integral part of the team, featuring in the 2005 and 2009 European Championships, helping England to the final of the latter and scoring as the Lionesses lost to Germany.
She received her 100th cap in a 3–0 loss to Germany at Wembley Stadium on 23 November 2014.
While Carney will obviously have been disappointed to miss a large chunk of the 2017/18 season through injury, she more than played her part in our success during the early stages of the campaign, scoring four goals in 15 appearances. She was also on the list of 55 players who received most votes for the 2017 Women’s World XI, in a poll organized by FIFPro.