Amalie Thestrup: Can she help Bristol City stay up in the WSL?

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Shania Hayles and Amalie Thestrup of Bristol City battle for possession with CJ Bott of Leicester City during the Barclays Women's Super League match between Leicester City and Bristol City at The King Power Stadium on February 18, 2024 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

Amalie Thestrup, the 28-year-old Bristol City forward and Danish international, has hit the best form of her career at the highest level she played.

Fourteen games into her second spell in the Women’s Super League, and Thestrup finds herself with a 50 percent goal conversion rate. That’s the best of any attacking in the WSL top 10 goal scorers. Amassing an incredible eight goals for WSL bottom side Bristol City, from only 16 shots.

We take a look back over her career to see what has clicked at Bristol. And, to see what she’ll be hoping to take into this week’s WSL clash against Brighton.

Amalie Thestrup: the goalscorer

It’s clear from the graphic above that Thestrup is thriving playing in a system where she is spearheading the attack. Her stats show she is among the elite with her finishing. But doesn’t provide the sort of defensive support that other modern day strikers might expect. Thestrup is afforded the role of being a long ball target who can trouble defenders and get a shot off. Something Bristol City will be hoping she can continue when they play Brighton in the Women’s Super League this weekend.

Looking at her stats more closely, she has scored an incredible 8 goals for WSL bottom side Bristol City from only 16 shots. A 75 percent shot accuracy is one of the highest out of all attacking players in the WSL. This includes those who chart above her on goals scored. They are Bunny Shaw, Lauren James, Rachel Daly, and Nikita Parris. Sitting 5th in the WSL top scorer’s table, Thestrup could be key to Bristol City’s survival. She offers a threat in attack only rivaled by four other forwards so far this season.

Thestrup is a physically strong forward who prides herself on being difficult to defend against. She has turned in a variety of goals this season. In comparison, a striker like Bunny Shaw who tops the WSL goal scorers’ chart so far with 14 goals, from 57 shots. Shaw has a lower shot accuracy and goal conversion. But gets many more opportunities at goal within a team of world-class players at Manchester City. They have a lot more possession compared to newly promoted Bristol City, and create more chances for their attackers. When a team like Bristol City only gets one or two chances created during a 90-minute match, having someone to rely on like Thestrup with a 75 percent shot accuracy, could be the difference.

Where did it begin for Amalie Thestrup?

Thestrup started her senior career at Brondby in 2014, but it was at Ballerup-Skovlunde Fodbold (BSP) in 2017-2019 where she made her name, scoring 32 goals in 48 matches. This coincided with an upturn in her international form. After this, a call-up to the Denmark U19 squad followed where she continued her fine form by returning seven goals in 17 matches.

Next, saw a move to the Italian side Roma but she couldn’t rediscover her previous form. Soon after moved she to Championship side Liverpool in 2020. After only scoring four goals in 17 appearances, on expiry of her contract, Thestrup found herself without a club. It was 2021 when Dutch team PSV Eindhoven signed her but after 29 matches and only one goal, she went to WSL side West Ham on loan for the rest of the 22/23 season. The Bristol City scouts must have liked what they saw because despite Thestrup never finding the net for the Hammers, after returning from her loan to PSV, Bristol City signed her up to lead their attacking line in their debut WSL campaign.

Thestrup’s future

Bristol City went in for Thestrup when they gained promotion to the WSL for the 23/24 season. For a squad that has only managed 17 goals in total, having a player like Thestrup could be key to their survival.

Having not represented her country since 2020 Thestrup was recently recalled to the Danish squad for their warm-weather trip to Spain. Along with Carrie Jones (3), Thestrup looks likely to be a key attacking player hoping to keep Bristol City in the WSL continuing against Brighton. Turning 29 this year, if she keeps this form up and once Bristol City’s fate is decided, a team higher up the table will surely be looking to sign her up.

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