Ellen White’s bright start to City life

LE HAVRE, FRANCE - JUNE 27: Ellen White of England celebrates after scoring her team's second goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Quarter Final match between Norway and England at Stade Oceane on June 27, 2019 in Le Havre, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Ellen White has had quite the season so far, following her golden boot escapades at the 2019 France World Cup.

This culminated with her being nominated for the Ballon D’or, which was eventually won by Megan Rapinoe.

White finished ninth in the voting, ahead of Dzenifer Maraozsan but behind the likes of Sam Kerr and Rose Lavelle.

She secured a move to last seasons double winners Manchester City. She hopes to be one of the final pieces of the puzzle in a team that City fans will hope dominates the domestic scene the way the men’s team has.

Unfortunately for White, she suffered a fairly major knee injury leading into her first season as a Manchester City player.

She missed the first five games of the season. Despite her absence, City won four and drew one of their first five. The draw came against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

Doubt was starting to creep in over White’s form. Her first two games for City brought defeats in key games, one against Arsenal in a potential title six-pointer.

(Photo by Eddie Garvey/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Then the second-leg loss to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

It’s more than likely that too much pressure was put on White from the management, staff and City fans for White to be a game-changer.

When in all reality, a player just returning from a serious lay-off was always going to struggle against class opposition in high profile games.

Despite the early murmurs over early appearances, it seems White and City have found their stride. They’ve recorded back to back 5-0 wins over West Ham and Bristol City.

White also bagged in the 2-2 draw for England at Wembley in front of a record crowd of 77,768.

Early promise in a City shirt

It will come as a massive relief to City that White has regained fitness – and form in a key part of the season.

Especially since losing the clubs record scorer Nikita Parris in the summer. City will hope that this return to form will propel them in the title race.

Despite White’s good start to life at Manchester City, for the move to be considered a success for both parties, silverware will have to come soon.

Ellen White, who will be 31 next year is seen as the replacement for Nikita Parris. Parris won one Women’s Super League, two League cups and an FA Cup at City.

There is no doubt however that White offers something different than previous incarnations of City’s 4-3-3 formation.

(Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

At times over the last few seasons it has felt as though any forward player could play in any of the three positions up front.

Georgia Stanway, Toni Duggan, Nikita Parris, Melissa Lawley, Janine Beckie, Pauline Bremer, Claire Emslie and Lauren Hemp have all occupied the three positions at one point or another.

White comes in as a pure finisher, a classic number 9. She’s there to put the ball in the net, and arguably the first since Jane Ross left.

Manchester City manager Nick Cushing: “Ellen is a number 9 – a prolific goal scorer and somebody we know will lead the line well for us and give us the opportunity to score more goals and dominate games offensively”

League history

White’s stellar recent club record will be a massive boost. Her time at perennial underdogs Birmingham City saw her leave the club having scored 23 league goals in 26 games.

All of these goals coming against superior sides, with bigger budgets and better squads. Since White left, Birmingham have found themselves fighting relegation rather than looking to Europe.

Before Vivianne Miedema scored six against Bristol, White was making a point of proving that there are more goalscorers in the league that the Dutch wonder.

White bagged in two consecutive games before City required Gemma Bonner to squeak them past Liverpool.

White’s City career has started brightly, and the signs of a City title charge look good, once Ellen White settles in, she could be the difference between the title going to Manchester, rather than London.