Bjorn on old friends and new beginnings
Our Swedish duo became a trio when Nathalie Bjorn made the move from Everton to Chelsea in January, swapping one shade of blue for another and the new recruit took time to discuss an impending reunion with familiar faces on Sunday.
Bjorn was the first of two additions to the Blues squad during the January transfer window, penning a deal until the summer of 2027 and making the move from Merseyside where she represented Everton since July 2021.
Last month, the 26-year-old made her Chelsea debut against West Ham United in the Adobe Women’s FA Cup. She produced a wonderful assist for Lauren James as we overcame Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, and led by example as we earned three points and a clean sheet at Brighton.
She has proven a shrewd acquisition and having only just walked through the door, Bjorn is feeling right at home. Ahead of our Barclays Women’s Super League meeting with Everton this evening (Sunday), the Swede discusses settling in, old friends and new beginnings.
Bjorn received a warm reception from the Blues faithful when she came from the bench to make her debut against West Ham at Kingsmeadow last month. Her contributions led to high praise from manager Emma Hayes which has helped the Swede to settle into her new surroundings quickly.
‘It was 100 per cent a big confidence boost,’ Bjorn explained. ‘Before I went in against West Ham, she said, ‘play like you can and use your leadership, be a leader.’ To get the confidence of the coach so early gets me feeling comfortable and also confident as well.
‘To go in and feel like I can be myself, I feel like it’s been really fast, like I settle into the team and from day one I can be myself on the pitch, and be the player I usually am.’
Ahead of a reunion with her former club on Sunday, Bjorn had plenty of good things to say about Everton and her experiences with them. Her focus is fully on her performance for Chelsea, but she is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces.
‘It will be a bit weird, but also special. It was obviously not that long ago that I was with them, so this game is very soon after I moved, and it will be special to play against all these people who I spent every day with for the past two-and-a-half years. Very special.
‘Also to see the fans. They are amazing, they supported us through everything. There were some rocky times, but they were always there supporting us, coming to all the away games too. They were always loud, always happy and friendly. It’s a family club and you can tell that from the supporters as well.’
Back to matters on the pitch, Bjorn has versatility in her locker and the Sweden international has discussed where she sees herself in this Chelsea side, having made an immediate impression in her early days as a Blue.
‘If I look at myself, I would say I’m a central defender, but I’ve been playing a lot of games with the national team as a central midfielder and I also spent time there with Everton. Now, in the national team, I play at right full-back.
‘So I have three positions I can mix in between, but centre-back is my favourite, and it’s nice at Chelsea that I get the time to play that position. That’s where they said they see me.’
You can see the full interview with Nathalie in the matchday programme, so be sure to pick up your copy on arrival at Kingsmeadow this evening.