Manchester City’s signing of USA star Carli Lloyd can only boost the standard of women’s football in England, says Jacqui Oatley.
Lloyd, 34, has joined the reigning Women’s Super League 1 champions on a short-term deal from Houston Dash.
The two-time World Player of the Year, double Olympic gold medallist and World Cup winner has expressed her ambition to lift the Women’s Champions League trophy.
TV sports presenter and Women In Football board member Oatley told Elephant Sport: “These top international signings are only going to improve the quality of our game.”
Oatley said Lloyd’s recruitment shows that Manchester City, backed by owner Sheikh Mansour’s huge wealth, are ambitious to succeed in women’s football.
“I just hope clubs continue to develop their own players and give their young British players a chance”
“I do admire the Manchester City roots, and everything I hear about them is that they are doing it for the right reasons, they take it seriously,” said the ITV Sport anchor.
“For branding and marketing reasons why not [sign Lloyd]? Football is a business, but City do see women as very much part of that.”
She also believes Lloyd’s drive and dedication will raise the bar for her new team-mates.
“[Lloyd] mixing with the England players in particular in that team is only going to help them with their professionalism.
“When they talk to her, when they have meals with her, when they train with her, see what she does. She’s the captain of the best team in the world, and players like that are a great signing.”
Oatley presented the BBC’s coverage of the 2015 Women’s World Cup in which England beat rivals Germany 1-0 in extra time to win bronze – their most successful tournament to date.
Although she welcomes Lloyd’s signing, she added: “I just hope clubs continue to develop their own players and give their young British players a chance.”