The Women’s Super League Player of the Season candidate list has been announced, with six stars in contention for the accolade.
Chelsea’s Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr have been nominated, alongside Manchester City’s Sam Mewis and Lauren Hemp. Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal and Izzy Christiansen of Everton complete the shortlist.
All six players are fully deserving of their place on the list, but several have been unlucky in their omission. GiveMeSport Women take a look at five other stars who could have been put forward for WSL Player of the Season.
Caitlin Foord – Arsenal
The Australian forward has scored 10 goals this season so far, behind only Kerr, Miedema and Kirby in the race for the Golden Boot. She has also racked up five assists, showing how integral she is to Arsenal’s attacking impetus.
Foord is also an incredibly versatile player. She has often appeared alongside Miedema in a front two for Arsenal, but is also able to shift out to the left when needed.
Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro has previously spoken about how integral Foord is for his side. “The contribution she makes away from the ball and just her ability to find room and take players away is really important for how we've played this winter,” he said.
"It also helps our wingers because she's taking a lot of the focus off the wide areas. She's been great and she's getting the rewards and finding her rhythm.”
Ann-Katrin Berger – Chelsea
Chelsea’s Berger is widely considered one of the best goalkeepers in women’s football. In 15 appearances this season she has kept 10 clean sheets. Yes, Chelsea’s defence is rock solid, but data compiled by FBRef shows that the German has a higher save percentage than any other keeper in the league.
She has played a significant role in keeping Chelsea on track with retaining their WSL title, not least during the crunch match with Manchester City last week. With the score at 2-2 and just minutes left to play, an Alex Greenwood corner was met by the head of Lauren Hemp.
The ball shot towards the goal and looked destined to give Manchester City both the lead and the advantage in the WSL title race, but Berger sprung into action and parried the header away. The world-class save now looks set to be the title-winning moment for Chelsea.
Caroline Weir - Manchester City
Weir has been electric for Manchester City this season. The attacking midfielder has achieved eight goals and three assists so far, and built a formidable partnership with Mewis and Keira Walsh in the centre of the field.
Weir’s performances are made all the better by the incredible goals she scores, although this may be unsurprising from a player once nominated for a FIFA Puskas Award.
Manchester City fans will be unlikely to forget the Scottish star’s stunner against Manchester United this season. Picking up a poor clearance just outside the box, Weir twisted and turned before executing a sublime chipped shot over the head of Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps.
Ella Toone – Manchester United
Manchester United have enjoyed an impressive second season in the Women’s Super League. They have pushed Arsenal close to taking the final Champions League spot, and though they are currently set to finish fourth by the season-end, a number of stars have emerged for the Red Devils.
Ella Toone is one, despite being just 21-years-old. The forward has hit the back of the net eight times so far this season, also setting up four goals. Her performances earned her a debut appearance for England against Northern Ireland in February.
Back in January, Manchester United manager Casey Stoney told the Manchester Evening News that Toone “just grows every week.”
"She’s so coachable, we asked her to play in a different position and she’s gone on, she’s done it and she’s been brilliant.”
Katie McCabe – Arsenal
Looking at Katie McCabe’s statistics, it’s hard to believe she is a defender. She has managed 11 assists this season, the WSL’s joint highest alongside Kelly. The left-back has also been on the scoresheet three times.
McCabe has been one of the most consistent players this season, putting in stand-out performances for Arsenal when it mattered most. She was integral in the North London side’s 2-0 victory against Manchester United in March, a result that could end up pivotal in the race for a place in the Champions League.
McCabe’s all-round game was perhaps on display most as Arsenal romped to a 3-0 triumph against Tottenham Hotspur last month. She was imperious both in defence and attack, scoring one goal and setting up another.News Now - Sport News