Liverpool and FSG make statement of intent with record transfer signing Olivia Smith

Olivia Smith has signed for Liverpool women from Sporting.
-Credit: (Image: Liverpool FC)

Liverpool FC Women have announced the club record signing of Canadian international Olivia Smith from Sporting CP. The 19-year-old, who is versatile in both midfield and attack, has signed her Reds contract at the AXA Melwood Training Centre, pending international clearance.

The ECHO reported last week that the Reds were prepared to break their transfer record to sign Smith, triggering the £210,000 release clause.

Smith joins Liverpool following an impressive debut season as a professional with Sporting in Portugal, where she was awarded Best Young Player of the Campeonato Nacional Feminino. She contributed 13 goals and nine assists in her 18 league appearances, helping her team secure Women's Champions League qualification by finishing second to Benfica.

Upon signing, Smith expressed her excitement: "Now that I'm finally here in the facility, I got to see a little bit of Liverpool, I absolutely love it and I'm super-excited," she said.

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"It's definitely a prestigious club as a whole and also for my dad it's very important for him this is the club he's been watching and following since he was younger. So, it's very cool to actually be a part of this thing and get this opportunity.

"I think it's super-exciting because we have such a young team and [last] season they were amazing. I'm excited to be a part of a squad like this."

For Canada, Smith made history as the country's youngest-ever player when she debuted aged just 15 years and 94 days back in November 2019. To date, she has earned 10 senior caps.

She played in the 2023 Women's World Cup and was awarded the Young Player of the Tournament prize at the Concacaf Women's Gold Cup earlier this year.

Smith, who previously played for North Toronto Nitros in her homeland and then at Penn State University, made the switch to Sporting in July 2023. She added: "I think the biggest thing for me is, where can I grow? And that comes down to the coach and the staff, and I think Matt [Beard] has proved that he's definitely someone who can help me grow and this is one of the best leagues in the world. Having come here after my first pro season is unbelievable and I'm very excited to learn and grow and become the best that I can be."

LFC Women manager Beard has been tracking Smith's career for a while and expressed his pleasure at securing her signature. He stated: "A lot of work has gone into it, we've been monitoring her now for the last year-and-a-half. I'm excited; fans should be excited by her too.

"She's a fantastic talent, and a great personality as well. Hopefully we can see that personality and that talent on the pitch. The conversations that we've had, the games that we've watched, we're really looking forward to working with her.

"She's got so many quality attributes she's quick, two-footed, [can] score, assist, can tackle. Definitely my type of player. I think the first thing that everyone knows we look at is the work ethic, and she's got that in abundance. Her attitude to want to improve is fantastic. Fingers crossed that she can improve here and kick on from where she left off from Sporting. We're really excited by Olivia."

Smith will don the No. 11 jersey for LFC Women in the 2024/25 season.