In what has been more than an incident-packed week for Manchester United, today they have officially announced that Katie Zelem will leave the club, on the expiry of her contract.

Having played for the Red Devils at youth level, but with no senior pathway for young girls to play football, Zelem eventually found her way back to the Carrington-based side via spells at Liverpool and Juventus in United’s inaugural season in 2018-2019.

In their Championship-winning season, the number 10 was one of seven players to have played for the club at youth level, Zelem also won the Club’s Player of the Season award.

She has been a critical part of United’s time in the Women’s Super League, conjuring up memorable moments, including three goals direct from corner kicks in games in 2022.

She captained the club to their first ever Cup Final, losing 1-0 in the FA Cup Final of 2023 to Chelsea.

The side would turn heartbreak into pure, unbridled joy a season later, however, as she lifted the FA Cup and Manchester United’s first ever major trophy in the same final, with a 4-0 win over Tottenham in May.

The announcement of Zelem leaving has sent shockwaves through a club that has already made headlines recently, with INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s statements about the Women’s Team, leading them to be moved into portable buildings, whilst their section of the training ground is used by the Men’s side.

In perhaps the most damning indictment of the club yet, allowing a player who has been there from the start, and everything in between to leave, on a free will no doubt leave a bitter taste in the mouths of Manchester United supporters.

Featured image courtesy of James Boyes via Wikimedia Commons. No changes were made to this image. License details found here