Chelsea Futbal were informed of the news via an official club press release from The Blues this afternoon.
Hamano joins the Barclays Women’s Super League champions from Japanese WE League club INAC Kobe Leonessa. Blues fans will have to wait a while to see the player pull on a Chelsea shirt with Hamano having been loaned to Swedish club Hammarby IF to further her development.
The 18-year-old is one of the most highly-rated young players to come out of Japanese football. Hamano was a FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup runner-up with Japan last year while she was awarded the Golden Ball for being recognised as the best player at the tournament. She also claimed the Silver Boot after being the tournament’s second-highest goalscorer.
Hamano’s impressive form at last summer’s FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup resulted in the player making her senior international debut for Japan in October.
After joining Chelsea, Hamano said “I am really proud to sign for a club which in my opinion is number one in the world.”
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes also commented on her latest addition, she said “Maika is a fantastic talent, she is a Golden Ball and Silver Boot winner having shone at the Under-20 World Cup last year. We are really looking forward to seeing how Maika develops during her time out on loan with Hammarby IF in Sweden.”