Chelsea boss Emma Hayes has hailed Sam Kerr for her goalscoring and being the “ultimate team player” after the Australia forward signed a new deal with the club.
The Blues announced on Tuesday that Kerr, who has netted 39 times for them since joining midway through the 2019-20 season, had put pen to paper on a two-year contract extension running to the summer of 2024.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Thursday’s Champions League home clash with Servette, Hayes lavished praise on the Matildas’ star, saying: “Sam is one of the best strikers, if not the best striker, in the world.
“Watching her develop in the last 18 months has been amazing. There were lots of people who wondered how she would cope playing in European football. Not only has she adapted to that, but she’s excelled.
“Her goalscoring record is nothing short of remarkable, but then you look at her assists column, which shows the selfless behaviour.
“She wants to score goals, of course, but she is all about the team. She is the ultimate team player.
“I think the fact she’s recommitted to the club is an amazing achievement on our part. She chose us in the first instance, but to choose second time around, you know you are doing the right things in the background.
“I think she will go on to score record numbers of goals for this team, and I think for us to compete, to go even further, her learnings will be critical.
“She is such a big-game player – but not a big-timer. She is an amazing teammate, and a great person to be around.
“Make no mistake, Sam wants to be on the winning team and competing for the top trophies, otherwise she wouldn’t stay here.
“We expect her to continue to drive those standards and be recognised, as she rightly should be, as one of the best players in the world.”
Hayes, whose side finished Champions League runners-up last season as well as retaining the Women’s Super League title and League Cup, currently top Group A with seven points from three games.
Their last fixture saw them beat Servette 7-0 in Geneva, scoring six times in the first half with Kerr scoring two and making two.