Alex Morgan: Can the U.S. superstar help an out of sorts Spurs side turn things around?

Alex Morgan Tottenham Hotspur Women

Alex Morgan is once again fully fit and will be eager to inspire Spurs to an upturn in form. The North London side currently sit second bottom in the Women’s Super League, without a league victory so far this season.

For all the talent that was acquired by WSL clubs from America last summer, Tottenham Hotspur’s signing of Alex Morgan was comfortably the most eye-catching.

Morgan is an international superstar and could well have taken her pick when it came to choosing a new suiter. That she opted for Spurs is a testament to both the club and to the wider draw of the WSL.

Unlike the two Manchester sides, Chelsea, or Arsenal, Spurs aren’t one of the WSL’s big hitters. While Spurs’ men’s team currently sit atop the Premier League, the women’s side find themselves in 11th place after their first seven matches.

Morgan has struggled for fitness since arriving in England, citing a “a little setback with her knee” as the reason for why it took her until gameweek five to make her WSL debut, coming off the bench in the 65th minute during Spurs’ 1-1 draw with Reading.

The striker hadn’t played professional football for over a year before then, after giving birth to her daughter, Charlie, around six months ago. She signed for Spurs on loan from NWSL club Orlando Pride back in September, in order to build her fitness back up ahead of the delayed Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games.

Alex Morgan signing for Tottenham Hotspur Women

However, her life in England hasn't got off to the best start. While Morgan has been acclimatising to her new surroundings, Spurs have stuttered. The club have failed to win any of their opening seven WSL games and were most recently defeated by North London rivals Arsenal via a penalty shootout in the Continental Cup.

Morgan came off the bench in that match but ultimately missed the decisive spot kick, which in turn handed the Gunners victory. As a consequence of Spurs’ poor form, the club recently dismissed head coaches Karen Hills and Juan Amoros, before naming ex-Lioness assistant manager Rehanne Skinner as their replacement.

Skinner will have to wait until the first weekend of December for her maiden match in charge, though, with women’s football currently in the midst of an international break following the success of Women’s Football Weekend.

Morgan has been called up to the U.S. Women’s National Team squad for their winter fixtures, and is in line to make an appearance this Friday as the U.S. take on the current European champions, the Netherlands.

If selected, it would mark the 31-year-old's first international appearance since the 2019 World Cup, where she received the silver boot after scoring six goals and assisting a further three en route to winning the tournament.

Should Morgan score this Friday, she’ll surpass the great Michelle Akers for international goals, taking her tally to a mind-blowing 108 in just 170 caps.

Upon the international break’s conclusion, Spurs will host Brighton, who were struggling for form themselves before beating West Ham last time out. The fixture presents a huge opportunity for both Skinner to get off to a winning start and for Morgan to net her first Spurs goal.

No-one is quite sure whether Morgan will be able to hit her previous heights as one of the game’s foremost superstars, but her return to the starting line up, coupled with a new manager bounce, could well prove to be Spurs' panacea, providing them with the impetus needed to kickstart their stuttering campaign.

What the future holds for Morgan beyond this season remains unclear. "I have a plan to go back [to America] for the holidays, but I don't know if I'm planning to continue on here or not,” she told the Associated Press.

"It all really depends on COVID and the NWSL, as well and what their plans are for next season, so I feel like I'm taking it week by week. One thing I know is that I want to go home and introduce Charlie to my family because I’ve kind of snatched her away and took her to England with me."

Whatever happens, Morgan remains a world class professional and will no doubt have tunnel vision when it comes to the next few months of her career, as the two-time World Cup winner looks to breathe new life into a weathered Spurs side.

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