Forget social butterflies, Aston Villa Women’s recent acquisition Alisha Lehmann is a social behemoth – but what’s she like as a player?
Words: Georgia Homer | @georlh
It has been a busy transfer window for Aston Villa Women, as new manager Carla Ward looks to rebuild the Women’s Super League side after significant departures. One new recruit who is attracting particular attention is social media powerhouse, Alisha Lehmann. Boasting over 4 million Instagram followers, almost four times that of the official club account, Lehmann is sure to bring along some supporters in her move to Villa. But you may be wondering, who is Alisha Lehmann the footballer and what can she bring to our team?
Our first summer signing of the year made the move from West Ham to Villa after her three-year contract came to an end. She spent the second half of last season on loan to Everton. Appropriately, Lehmann’s only goal for the Toffees came in a 4-0 win against Birmingham City.
Prior to her short loan spell, Lehmann had been playing for West Ham since 2018. She transferred from BSC Young Boys Frauen to make an immediate impact in her debut season, scoring 9 goals and earning a nomination for Young Player of the Year. She was also instrumental in their FA Cup run that season, scoring the equaliser against Reading in the semi-final and featuring in the final against Manchester City.
Lehmann is not only experienced in the WSL, but also internationally. She won her first cap for the Switzerland national team in October 2017 at just 19 years old, after making appearances at both U17 and U19 levels. Most recently, Switzerland qualified for next summer’s Euros in play-off shoot-out against the Czech Republic earlier this year. Lehmann was substituted on in the 56th minute, and her penalty in the shoot-out contributed to the country’s qualification.
In terms of Lehmann moving to Aston Villa, the side are still missing a goal scorer since the loss of Melissa Johnson at the end of the promotion season. Stine Larsen was brought in to fill the void, but goals became an issue for Villa in their first season back at the top and Larsen has since left the club after one season. Although Carla Ward has publicly stated she is still looking to recruit an out-and-out striker, Lehmann provides versatility across the front line.
Working predominantly down the right wing, Lehmann has the ability to play on either side of an attack and has also been known to take up central positions when her teammates move out wide. She should create space and options for the team going forward, as well as adding an element of unpredictability.
“Alisha comes with both experience and an unbelievable amount of potential.
She has already shown she can light up any WSL game and I’m looking forward to working with her.”
The most exciting thing for Aston Villa is that at 22 years old, Alisha Lehmann is only just getting started.