By Sam Stone

13th Sep, 2022 | 9:10pm

West Ham Women expert shocked at exit of Yui Hasegawa

We’re delighted to welcome Michelle Irons as our exclusive West Ham Women expert. Each week she’ll be giving her views on the biggest talking points at Victoria Road…

West Ham United Women expert Michelle Irons is shocked that Yui Hasegawa has left the club to join Manchester City on a permanent basis.

The club confirmed the departure of the 25-year-old Japan international on 8 September for an undisclosed six-figure fee plus add-ons.

Irons feels that Hasegawa was settled in London and that City have swooped to replace Keira Walsh after her move record-breaking move to Barcelona.

Speaking exclusively to West Ham Zone, she said: “It was revealed last week Yui Hasegawa has left West Ham for Man City to seek new challenges.”

“This left me quite shocked as I felt like Yui was settled in London and happy that we had signed her close friend Risa Shimizu and that she was looking forward to the season ahead.

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“It’s clear that City have swooped for Yui because of Keira Walsh’s departure to Barcelona and it screamed of desperation from City considering they are two very different players.

“Alas, we move on and have to accept that we have lost a real core of attacking threat with Leon and Svitkova walking out the door too.

“Looking ahead we have to accept that West Ham can’t compete with the pull of the type of contract on offer at City and that changes in the Women’s game do happen quickly.

“However, Paul Konchesky did not wait around and he immediately brought in another Japanese international player to effectively replace Yui with vastly experienced Honoka Hayashi.”

The Hammers get their 2022/23 WSL season underway against Everton on Sunday with Paul Konchesky looking to build on their sixth place finish from the 2021/22 season.

It looks like a good opportunity to get off to a positive start against a Toffees side that finished seven points and four places behind the Hammers last season.

West Ham also head into the new season with a new captain in Dagny Brynjarsdóttir, an appointment that has also been praised by our West Ham Women expert Irons.