Leicester City defender signs new deal as six summer departures confirmed

Sophie Howard has signed a new Leicester City contract
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Leicester City Women have confirmed defender Sophie Howard has signed a new contract that will keep her at the club until at least the end of the 2024/25 campaign.

The Scotland international – who joined Leicester from Reading in the summer of 2020 – has agreed new terms with the Foxes ahead of their fourth campaign in the Women’s Super League (WSL). The 30-year-old has made more than 100 appearances City, helping them win to promotion to the WSL in 2021 before establishing herself as a regular in the women’s top tier.

Speaking to LCFC.com, she said: “I’m absolutely delighted to sign another year for Leicester City. For me, this is the place to be and I’m really looking forward to the time ahead with the team, the club and our fans.”

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Howard has plenty of international experience under her belt, having earned a half-century of caps for Scotland, and featured in all 22 league games for the club during the 2023/24 season, a campaign that saw Leicester finish in 10th place and reach the semi-finals of the Women's FA Cup for the first time in their history.

News of the defender's contract extension comes after the club confirmed the departure of six first-team players. Aimee Palmer, Remy Siemsen, Josie Green, Demi Lambourne, Monique Robinson and Aileen Whelan have all now left the Foxes following the expiration of their contracts.

Palmer, who joined the club from Bristol City during the summer of 2023, leaves City having made 11 appearances in all competitions during her solitary season in Leicestershire, while Australia international Siemsen moves on following two seasons in Leicester colours.

Defender Green also departs following two seasons at Belvoir Drive having made 40 appearances in all competitions in various positions across the pitch, along with long-serving goalkeeper Lambourne, who spent last season on loan with Crystal Palace

Academy graduate Robinson leaves having most recently spent the second half of the 2023/24 season on loan with Burnley in the FA Women's National League North, while Whelan will retire from professional football, having confirmed her decision last month.