Chelsea Football Club Women have announced the signing of Australian forward Sam Kerr on a two-and-a-half year deal.

The 26-year-old international will join up with the Blues when the mid-season transfer window opens, linking up with the squad for the second half of the 2019/20 Barclays Women’s Super League season.

Kerr had previously split her playing time between Perth Glory in the Australian W-League from October to April and Chicago Red Stars in America’s National Women’s Soccer League from April to September.

A proven goalscorer throughout her career, Kerr was recently named the NWSL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after scoring a record 19 goals in 23 games to secure a third-consecutive golden boot. This was despite being absent for part of the season because of this summer’s World Cup.

Kerr helped Chicago Red Stars to the NWSL Championship final when she scored the only goal in the play-off semi-final against Portland Thorns. However, the Australian forward missed out on clinching the title after the Red Stars suffered a defeat to North Carolina Courage.

On the international stage, Kerr made her debut for the Matildas at just 15 and has gone on to score 38 times for her country, including five goals at this year’s World Cup, and she was recently a finalist for the Best Women’s Player at the 2019 FIFA Football Awards as well as being a Ballon d’Or nominee.

Ahead of her move to Chelsea, Kerr, who will wear the number 20 shirt, said: ‘The WSL is the best league in Europe. I want team success and I don’t want it to come easy. I feel Chelsea have been building something special over the years and I want to be a part of that – I want to lift some trophies.’

Jonna Andersson, who previously had the squad number 20, will now wear shirt number 25.