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Report: Eni Aluko set to join Angel City FC?

An intriguing report claims it’s happening.

Aston Villa Women Unveil Eniola Aluko as Sporting Director Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

With 2022 NWSL expansion team Angel City FC ramping up preparations for their debut season behind the scenes, we see a new report with a claim of a prominent name who could be involved with the club.

The Times reported on Friday that Eni Aluko, who is Aston Villa women’s technical director, could join up with Angel City, the wording from Molly Hudson being “sources have suggested to The Times that her next move will be to Angel City...” which is both very British but also provides a bit of wiggle room as to the possible provenance of the report. Still, in some ways this makes sense, and Hudson is a reputable reporter.

The report doesn’t say exactly what role Aluko would be getting with Angel City FC, she’s currently 34 and only retired as a player about a year and a half ago. If this is legit, I would imagine a role in the front office or coaching, but I suppose it is possible she could come out of retirement.

Aluko enjoyed an extensive playing career in three countries. She played in her native England for Birmingham City, Charlton Athletic, and most notably with Chelsea, where she had two stints at the club and featured over 100 times, winning three WSL titles there. She played in the United States as well, in WPS for St. Louis, Atlanta and Sky Blue. She finished her career in Italy with Juventus, winning a domestic treble there.

Aluko was also a fixture for England, picking up over 100 caps for her country. But that only tells part of the story, as she publicly detailed a culture of bullying and racism on the national team and especially among then-England head coach Mark Sampson’s staff that led to delayed investigations and indirectly, Sampson’s exit as England manager.

She became Aston Villa technical director after retiring at the start of 2020 and helped the club transition to a professional set-up, and helped them avoid relegation from the WSL this season. She hasn’t officially left Villa yet, but we’ll have to see what happens.

Angel City FC had not responded to a request for comment from Angels on Parade on The Times’ report as of Friday evening.

I think there’s some real smoke to this report, we’re not yet at a point in women’s soccer where nonsense rumors regarding non-playing roles are flying around yet. But just because it could be real does not necessarily mean it is, either. They could be in talks now and someone spilled the beans before a deal is done. Or maybe a deal is done and they’ll be announcing it before long. We’ll see. And of course we’ll keep you posted on this and other Angel City FC news.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.