English striker Toni Duggan recently revealed she is hoping to play in the Women’s Super League next season. GiveMeSport Women assesses which team she could be heading to.
Duggan told Sky Sports News last week that she wanted to return to England after four years playing in Spain’s Primera Iberdrola. The 29-year-old is hoping to return to the Lionesses set-up after she failed to earn a call up last October.
“I’ve had a great experience in the WSL and Spain, I’ve been here four years now so I think it’s time to come back home soon,” Duggan said.
“My contract with Atletico is up in the summer, I think people are aware of that and, after a difficult year with the coronavirus pandemic and the world changing, I want to be back with family and also to get back in the England side – for me personally that was the biggest difficulty this year.
“I think if I’m in the WSL, back in England, and in front of the new manager’s eyes, that is my motivation – to get back in the England team, come back in England and hopefully people can remember me.”
Which WSL team could Duggan be playing for come next season?
Duggan could well return to Everton, the club she first joined aged 11. She worked her way up the ranks to break into the senior team in the 2007-08 season.
She almost immediately made an impact, scoring the winning extra–time goal against Watford Ladies that put Everton into that season’s FA Women’s Premier League Cup final. Duggan was named the FA Women’s Young Player of the Year in 2009 and helped Everton win the FA Cup in 2010.
After an impressive seven years at the club, Duggan’s performances earned her a transfer to Manchester City. She may now be tempted to return to the Merseyside club where she first made her name.
Alternatively, Duggan could also head back to Manchester City, the last English club she played for. The forward helped Manchester City become established in women’s football, contributing to the team’s first Women’s Super League title in 2016 and first FA Cup in 2017.
She would surely be welcomed back with open arms, but would there be a place on the pitch for her? Manchester City already have a wide range of attacking options, including the experienced Ellen White, the exciting Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway, and the emerging Janine Beckie and Jess Park.
Duggan would have to be in outstanding form to earn a place in the starting line-up. If working her way back into the Lionesses squad is her main aim, Duggan may head to a club where she has guaranteed playing time.
Duggan could well find regular playing time at the Red Devils. The move would be a reverse of that made by defender Alex Greenwood, who now plays for Manchester City after spending time at Manchester United.
Manchester United’s Lauren James is reportedly on her way to Chelsea, and Duggan could be an ideal replacement for the star player. Her extensive experience – winning the WSL and FA Cup, and playing in the Champions League – could also help take Manchester United to the next level.
A left-field choice, but Duggan would certainly get minutes on the pitch with the newly-promoted Leicester.
The club signalled their intention to succeed in women’s football through significant investment last season, which immediately paid off with a Women’s Championship title. What better way to show they mean business in the WSL than sign one of England’s most prolific strikers?
Duggan would almost certainly relish the opportunity to help Leicester establish themselves as a team on the rise.
Duggan has scored plenty of goals against Arsenal during her career, but she could now link up with the team’s strike-force.
The Gunners are back in the Champions League this season and will be looking to deepen their squad as their schedule becomes more congested. Arsenal are also short on attacking options following the departure of Jill Roord to Wolfsburg.
If Duggan was to head to North London, she would of course have to get used to playing second fiddle to the prolific Vivianne Miedema.