Less than a fortnight from opening day, Everton Women have completed the signing of Hanna Bennison, one of the most promising young players in Europe, from FC Rosengard for a club-record fee. The 18-year-old inked a four-year contract with the Merseyside outfit that carries a six-figure sum and runs through June 2025.
Bennison is a do-it-all player in the middle of the pitch. She is known for her creative on-ball abilities, dynamic passing acumen and nose for finding the back of the net and has shown every sign of breaking through to become a truly elite player.
Fact file: Hanna Bennison— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) August 24, 2021
Winner of Goal’s 2021 NXGN Award
Debuted for Rosengard at 15
Won the Damallsvenskan title in 2019 pic.twitter.com/6KGeJXt5zS
The teenager, who debuted for Sweden’s senior team one month after her 17th birthday, follows a recent trend the Blues have of bringing in young players with tremendous upside to Merseyside. Not only did she break into the senior team as a teenager, but she also did it against the number one ranked team — the USA.
In addition to her eight caps for Sweden, Bennison traveled to Tokyo this summer with her national team, winning a silver medal. As if earning an Olympic medal at age 18 wasn’t impressive enough, the starlet received the prestigious Goal NXGN Award for the best young female footballer in the world earlier this year.
A player on average has the ball for approximately 3 mins during an entire game, so what they do without it is really what separates the good from the great players.— Yash (@Odriozolite) July 16, 2021
Watch this next clip & focus on Bennison's movements!
(Made with @MetricaSports )pic.twitter.com/JenlZnPX9F
For a squad that has been revitalized this summer — there have been a total of 18 changes (10 departures, eight arrivals) at Finch Farm — Everton will provide Bennison the ideal mixture of a competitive training environment with room to grow.
“It feels amazing to be here,” she told evertontv. “I’m still young, I need to learn a lot, and I think this is the perfect environment for me to grow. I like the league in England, and we have a very good manager in Willie Kirk. I’ve spoken to him, and the way he sees my game is the way I see myself. I think Everton has something big happening – we have a really good squad with a lot of good players.”
In April of 2018, Bennison made her debut with Rosengard, one of the top teams in the domestic league known as the Damallsvenskan, aged just 15. The following campaign, Bennison started 16 of 18 league matches en route to a league title and the breakthrough talent award. And this past season, the teenager was a key cog — scoring two goals — in a Rosengard midfield that reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Despite being an 18-year-old in a completely new environment, Bennison will be able to lean on international teammates Nathalie Bjorn and Anna Anvegard, both of whom signed with Everton earlier this summer. All three were at the Olympics together this July.
“Moving away from home for the first time can be a big stress in a young player’s life,” said Manager Willie Kirk. “We just need to make sure we support her and that she settles in. That will give her the platform to perform on the pitch. I think having [Sweden teammates] Anna and Nathalie here will help. That’s great for us and for Hanna.”
Not only will Bennison compete for minutes this season, Kirk believes she has the talent to quickly become one of the division’s top midfielders.
“She’ll play a big part for us, not just this season, but in the long-term. She’s at a fantastic level, but there is still so much more to come, considering she’s only 18.”
Everton’s summer of recruitment has been incredible and all the pieces are in place for Willie Kirk to get his Blues to break into the top four this season.