Lauren James, Ebony Salmon: Who should win the PFA Young Women’s Players' Player of the Year


The nominees for the PFA Young Women’s Players' Player of the Year award have been revealed and there are some standout names.

Six players have been shortlisted in total, all of whom are English and from either Chelsea, Manchester City or Manchester United.

Here’s a look at the players who have been voted for by their peers as the league’s best young prospects:

Ebony Salmon

While Bristol City suffered a dismal WSL campaign, Ebony Salmon received countless plaudits for her performances up front.

Though her heroics couldn’t stop Matt Beard’s side from being relegated, the 20-year-old impressed a number of bigger clubs and has now signed for Racing Louisville in the National Women’s Soccer League.

The quick, skilful and clinical striker notched six league goals in 15 starts and looks to be a complete forward already. Spending time in America will only serve to further her development as well.

Ebony Salmon

Lauren Hemp

When Manchester City signed Rose Lavelle at the start of the season, there was some suggestion that Hemp may struggle for game time.

A string of fantastic showings, however, saw her become a regular starter for Gareth Taylor and perhaps their standout performer in the second half of the season.

In total, Hemp registered six goals plus eight assists and came agonisingly close to scoring the winner against Chelsea late on in the season, only to be denied by a finger-tip save from Ann-Katrin Berger.

The 20-year-old deservedly played her way in the Hege Riise’s Team GB Olympic squad and could well find herself in the first choice starting 11 in Tokyo.


Ella Toone

Toone starred for United in the Championship but faced a difficult first season in England’s top flight.

This year though, the 21-year-old kicked on and finished as the Red Devil’s top scorer with nine league goals.

Her consistently impressive performances were rewarded with her first couple of England caps, plus a spot on the reserves list for Team GB’s Olympic squad.


Niamh Charles

Charles arrived from Liverpool as an accomplished forward, but Emma Hayes supposedly always saw her potential as a defender.

After Maren Mjelde suffered a season-ending injury in the League Cup Final, Charles was tasked with filling the void at right-back and did so magnificently.

Measured in defence, with pace to burn and effortless quality on the ball, Charles has become a fan favourite and joins Toone in being on the Team GB reserves list.

While it will take some doing to displace Lucy Bronze from the England team, Charles has shown she is comfortable at left-back as well.

Niamh Charles

Ellie Roebuck

Roebuck has had a tremendous season for Man City, keeping 11 clean sheets in 20 starts.

Still just 21, the English youngster has shown maturity well beyond her years and has been selected as one of two keepers in the Team GB squad, alongside Karen Bardsley.

With just seven caps to her name, Roebuck looks set to become the Lionesses number one for years to come.


Lauren James

There has been a lot of speculation linking the Man United forward to Chelsea and given her exploits for the Red Devils, it’s easy to see why.

James has scored the first goal for United in the Championship, FA Cup, WSL and this season became the first woman to score at Old Trafford.

At 19-years-old, James is the youngest player on this list and is still waiting for her first senior England cap.


There are some fantastic names in this list and several future superstars, but it’s hard to look past Lauren Hemp as the winner.

The Team GB forward was instrumental for City in the second half of the season and has been nominated for the main PFA Players' Player of the Year award as well.

One thing that’s for sure, though, is that England has an impressive array of talent coming through at the moment.

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