Charlotte FC have announced the signing of Ashley Westwood from Burnley… as the Premier League veteran heads to MLS after 10 years in the English top flight
Charlotte FC have announced the signing of Premier League veteran Ashley Westwood on a contract until 2024.
The 32-year-old, who has a decade of experience in England’s top flight with Aston Villa and Burnley, will fill an international roster spot for the 2023 MLS season.
The move is subject to visa approval and international clearance, but will see the midfielder play outside English football for the first time in his career.
Ashley Westwood swapped Burnley and the Championship for Charlotte to play in the MLS
Westwood has not played since April 2022 after suffering a major ankle injury at West Ham
Speaking about the move, Charlotte sporting director Zoran Krneta said: ‘Ashley is a versatile, hard-working midfielder who comes to Charlotte after a successful ten-year career in the Premier League, where he has been a pivotal player for his two clubs. .
‘His experience at the highest level will provide valuable leadership in our locker room, and his ability as a set piece specialist will add quality to an important phase of the game.
‘Getting a former Premier League player of his quality on a free transfer is a huge achievement and shows that the players believe in what we are building at Charlotte FC and see the Carolinas as an attractive destination.’
Westwood made 286 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 12 goals.
Westwood played in the Premier League for 10 years but will now embark on a fresh start
Charlotte finished ninth in the Eastern Conference last season – first in Major League Soccer
Westwood has not played since April 2022 after breaking his ankle in a game against West Ham but has returned to training at Burnley – who were relegated from the Premier League last season.
Burnley is now managed by former Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany, and is first in the English Championship – England’s second tier of soccer.
Last week, Kompany admitted Westwood could leave after six years at the club, but wouldn’t say where he would go.
‘He is someone who has done a lot for the club and is someone who I personally respect,’ said Kompany.
Since his injury, I’ve told him if there’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at this stage of his career after a major injury then we’ll look at it for him and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
‘I can’t confirm anything yet but it’s no secret we’re allowing him to review it.’
Charlotte finished ninth in the Eastern Conference in its first season in Major League Soccer with 42 points, six shy of the final playoff spot.
Their 2023 Major League Soccer season begins on February 25 at home against the New England Revolution.