Kadeisha Buchanan: A Signing to Change the Game?

Chelsea announced the statement signing of Canadian international and former Olympique Lyonnais star Kadeisha Buchanan this week. The defender joins on a 3-year deal, and will wear the No. 26 shirt for the Blues.

Our new Canadian addition has a stellar track record and an impressive collection of silverware. Despite her young age, Kadeisha Buchana has already been extremely successful with club and country. Let’s break down her main strengths and weaknesses, and see why.

The Strengths of Kadeisha Buchanan

  • Strength on the ball: Kadeisha is a physically gifted player able to hold off one or multiple players if put under pressure with calm control.
  • Great hold-up play: She’s not pushed around easily, and is a very strong physical player when necessary.
  • Calm and collected: Like many modern central defenders, she’s constantly looking to push the play up the pitch.
  • Keen to aid in starting attacking plays: This includes breaking the lines with confidence through impressive passing.
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  • Aerially strong: Buchanan is not afraid to go into 50/50 challenges when put under pressure, and exhibits a great drive.
  • Excellent passing: When sitting centrally in the defence, the Canuck can confidently pass up the wings and also play the ball through the middle with apparent ease.
  • Smart footwork: When under pressure, Buchanan doesn’t panic on the ball, stays focused and refuses to be put under pressure.
  • Good pace: She’s able to track back well and also carry the ball up the pitch when needed with relative ease.
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One thing I noticed watching some highlights from Lyon and Canada games was that very rarely did players put pressure on her in 1-vs-1 situations. The strong, commanding presence when she has the ball means attackers fall back and wait for her to make her move.

She’s very much a confident defensive player. In the highlights, I very rarely watched her back to her keeper. Instead, she calmly held onto the ball until a chance to move forward opened up. This is extremely helpful for progressive build-up play.

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And of course, being a true Emma Hayes signing, there are a lot of highlights of Buchanan whipping crosses into the box. From an attacking perspective, it’s not uncommon to find herself in and around the box with a chance on goal.

Millie Bright may have competition when it comes to incredible long-range efforts next season.

Areas for Improvement

I’m not going to call any of these real weaknesses until we’ve watched Kadeisha perform. However, there are a few things that could be exploited as Buchanan settles into a new team and league.

  • Risky Play: For all the good that comes from Kadeisha’s confidence on the ball, it can sometimes be risky. Holding onto the ball works perfectly until it doesn’t, so we’ll have to see if this affects her performance. Chelsea did concede some sloppy goals in the early portion of last season due to this issue.
  • Over-Enthusiasm: Like all defenders, Kadiesha Buchanan can occasionally commit rash challenges. They are not malicious, just some last-ditch efforts to stop a shot on goal which don’t always work out.
  • A weaker left foot. Kadeisha favours her right foot and when put under pressure will always try and stay on her strong foot.
  • Has been caught ball watching: A good example of this was Lyon against Juventus in the UWCL. Juventus were on the attack, and Kadeisha didn’t close down Barbara Bonansea who then put the ball straight across the face of goal to a teammate to tap home.
  • Marking on set pieces: In some cases where she is keen to keep ahold of her mark, Kadeisha Buchanan has seemed to forget to pay attention to the ball being played in as well.
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It’s important to note these are all minor issues too.

Kadeisha Buchanan: Final Thoughts

Kadeisha Buchanan is an extremely strong and experienced player. With pedigree at club and international level, Kadeisha has a lot to offer any new team. I think Chelsea will benefit from bringing someone in who has competed at the highest level for so long. She has already won 5 Champions League titles in her time at Lyon. More importantly, she played a pivotal role in every triumph. There is no doubting what class of player we are bringing into our squad.

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It is quite easy to list everything you think someone has done well or not well. It is even easier when they have played for a incredible team like Lyon.

However, the true test will be seeing how Kaidesha Buchanan copes in the WSL. Emma Hayes will also be hoping she can be the spark to help Chelsea reach and hit the levels that Lyon achieve consistently.

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