Sam Kerr, Beth Mead: Who will win the FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year?

FWA WSL Player of the Year

This year’s WSL season has been one of the most competitive in recent memory but which player has been the standout individual performer? 

Across the campaign, we’ve seen the emergence of rising stars as well as renowned names continuing to shine. 

Voting for the FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year has now opened and there are plenty of deserving contenders. 

Last year, Chelsea’s Fran Kirby scooped the award, after a memorable season for the Blues. 

But will it be another Chelsea star who emerges victorious this year, or has anyone else done enough to persuade the football writers? 

GiveMeSport Women looks at who’s in contention to win the award this season: 

Outside Bet

Millie Bright – Chelsea 

Chelsea are top of the league with four games to go and remain on course to win a third successive WSL title. 

While the Blues have been deadly in front of goal, much of their success has also been down to their impressive defence, having conceded just seven times all season. 

Bright has been at the heart of this defence –– playing every game of the campaign and keeping 13 clean sheets so far. 

Given captain Magdalena Eriksson was absent for some of these matches, Bright has often been relied on to marshal the back four and has done so superbly. 

Ashleigh Neville – Tottenham 

Neville has been a key figure for Spurs since 2017 but this year she has elevated her game to new heights. 

The English defender has been a constant threat going forward this season –– scoring twice and registering two assists. 

What’s more, the 28-year-old has also been a reliable defender and has made more tackles than any other player in the league. 

Vivienne Miedema – Arsenal 

It sounds bizarre to consider Miedema an outside bet, especially considering she’s scored 12 goals and registered six assists. 

Indeed, the Dutch striker has continued to be one of the most prolific forwards in the world and has excelled in playing a deeper role for Jonas Eidevall’s side at times. 

But, in truth, Miedema has not been quite as good as in previous years and has been overshadowed somewhat by other Arsenal stars this year. 

Good chance

Alex Greenwood – Man City

At one stage, it seemed as though an injury-ravaged Man City had no hope of qualifying for the Champions League. Yet, an outstanding second half of the season has got them back in contention. 

Greenwood has been a measured professional throughout the campaign ––– filling in across multiple positions and leading by example. 

The English defender has kept nine clean sheets in total and has been the Citizens’ most consistent performer. 

Jess Carter – Chelsea

Carter had been on the fringes of Chelsea’s side before the start of this season and many thought it may be time for the 24-year-old to seek a move elsewhere. 

However, Carter has demonstrated power and poise in abundance –– drawing plaudits from manager Emma Hayes. 

Given her ability to operate at full-back and at centre-back, the defender is now an undroppable member of Hayes’ side and her impressive form has also been recognised by England coach Sarina Wiegman. 

Ella Toone – Man United

United are blessed with a plethora of talented youngsters but Toone has no doubt been the standout player for the Red Devils this campaign. 

The 22-year-old has registered seven assists so far –– more than anyone else in the league and has six goals to her name as well. 

While the likes of Alessia Russo have been in tremendous form of late, Toone has been consistently impressive all season. 

Ella Toone

Leah Williamson – Arsenal 

Williamson was recently named the new England captain and it’s easy to see why Wiegman is such a big fan of the 25-year-old. 

Arsenal were the standout team in the league for much of the early part of the season and remained defensively solid with Williamson leading the backline. 

But when the England star got injured, Eidevall’s team began to struggle –– losing to bottom-placed side Birmingham City. 

Since returning, the Gunners haven’t lost once in the league, showing just how integral she is to Arsenal’s success. 

Favourites

Beth Mead – Arsenal

While Miedema and Williamson have both been fantastic this year, Mead has had the season of her life. 

Many predicted the 26-year-old might struggle for game time this year with Eidivall having an abundance of talent at his disposal. 

But after scoring two against Chelsea on the opening weekend, Mead has been a regular starter ever since and would be a more than deserving winner of the Women’s Footballer of the Year award. 

Sam Kerr- Chelsea

The main hurdle standing in Mead’s way is the remarkable goal-scoring exploits of Sam Kerr. 

After securing the Golden Boot last season, Kerr finished off where she left off and has scored 16 goals in just 13 starts. 

Many of these goals have come at vital times as well. Indeed, last month Kerr slotted home a stoppage-time winner against Aston Villa to ensure the league title remains in the Blues’ hands.

Sam Kerr has been one of the best players in the Women's Super League in 2021
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