Man United: Will Nikita Parris be a success for the Red Devils?

Nikita Parris

Man United have secured the services of Nikita Parris, but will the England star prove to be a success for the Red Devils? 

Parris has signed a two-year deal with United, having joined from fellow Women’s Super League side Arsenal. 

The 28-year-old was part of the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 winning squad and will now link up with fellow England heroes Ella Toone, Mary Earps and Alessia Russo. 

As a former FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year, Parris will bring a wealth of WSL experience to United and appears to be a statement signing on paper. 

Yet, the 28-year-old endured a difficult time at Arsenal and played just six minutes at the Euros this summer. 

With that in mind, GiveMeSport Women assesses whether Parris is a shrewd bit of business or a recipe for disaster. 

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WSL pedigree

Having played for Everton, Man City and Arsenal, Parris arrives at United with bags of WSL experience. 

During her four-year spell with City, the forward was one of the most influential players in the league and also became a regular starter for England. 

By 2019, Parris’ stock was at an all-time high and she attracted the attention of European giants Lyon. 

Nikita Parris

The forward parted ways with the Citizens to sign for the French giants and left as the WSL’s all-time leading goalscorer. 

Though Gunners star Vivianne Miedema has now surpassed this tally, Parris remains one of the top 10 scorers in the league’s history. 

Therefore, United have themselves a player who is more than capable of netting a number of goals –– something they’ve desperately craved, with no players reaching double figures in the league last year. 

Recent struggles

While Parris’ overall record in the WSL is stellar, she managed just one league goal during her time with the Gunners last season. 

At times, the Lionesses star was criticised for her performances and by the end of last season she was regularly rooted to the bench as the likes of Beth Mead, Stina Blackstenius and Miedema took centre stage. 

Though it’s fair to say Parris’ performances last season were underwhelming, it’s clear she did not fit into manager Jonas Eidevall’s system. 

Nikita Parris

Parris was signed before the Swedish manager arrived and the winger never managed to cement her place in the starting 11. 

What this means is that Parris’ statistics from last season are by no means indicative of her ability. 

Under the right manager and in the right system, the forward is still more than capable of flourishing again and perhaps Marc Skinner is the person to help Parris rediscover her form. 

Mead, for example, was out of favour at Arsenal and for England 18 months ago, but under the tutelage of Eidevall and Sarina Wiegman, she has emerged as a Ballon d’Or contender. 

The verdict

Overall, Parris’ move to United is somewhat risky in the sense that the forward struggled for large parts of last year. 

Yet, given her WSL experience, proven quality and desire to prove her critics wrong, this signing could well prove to be a masterstroke. 

If the winger can develop a partnership alongside the likes of Toone, Russo and Leah Galton, then the Red Devils could mean serious business this season.

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