Following a thrilling 2020/21 season in the Women’s Super League, Her Football Hub has named the biggest standout players. However, only one player has been selected from each club. Here’s the personnel who we think had the most impact from each WSL outfit.
Everton – Izzy Christiansen
Izzy Christensen, who has represented her country 31 times at senior level, originally announced she would be returning to England in 2019 after leaving European champions Lyon.
After overcoming some injury problems, she has gone on to make 22 appearances in the Women’s Super League under Willie Kirk in which all of those were starts.
She was in fine form all season and was the Toffees’ second top-scorer for the 2020/21 term – with six goals from midfield, notching six assists along the way.
The 29-year-old also helped her team reach the FA Cup final for the first time since 2014.
Christensen has been an ever-present figure for Everton this season, proving her value to the team. Her energetic character in the middle of the park helped to keep the Blues in a comfortable fifth position.
Manchester City – Chloe Kelly
When Chloe Kelly signed for Manchester City during the summer, anyone who had seen the forward play for Everton was aware of her quality. Her arrival however, was perhaps overlooked amid the highly publicised signings from the USA and Lyon.
From her first game, the No.9 undoubtedly made an instant impact both in assisting and scoring goals. With 16 goals and 14 assists, Kelly has proven herself to be an undeniable asset to the Sky Blues. Her work in front of goal made her the first Man City player to reach double figures on both goals and assists last campaign.
As City’s top scorer last season, Kelly made a massive contribution to their relentless chase of the WSL title. The forward has also solved a huge issue Man City were facing prior to her arrival. With her unique penalty technique, Kelly has certainly helped her side in an area they have recently struggled in.
Her season didn’t ended the way she was hoping, however, as she sustained an ACL injury during the penultimate WSL match.
There is no doubt though that Kelly will come back stronger and better than ever from this setback.
Manchester United – Ona Batlle
It was a tight contest between Manchester United’s consistent goalscorer Ella Toone and full-back Ona Batlle for this pick. However, the Spaniard’s debut season in England and her performances at the back made the cut.
Batlle played 1,885 minutes in total across all domestic competitions with United last season. Having alternated between the right and the left-hand side at the back, she finished the season in a more offensive role against Leicester in the FA Cup where she played as right winger.
On average per 90 minutes, the talented Spaniard had 65.9 % successful actions per game, not bad for a first season in England.
One of Batlle’s best games this season was against United’s 2-0 win over Everton on Merseyside. She notched a 90% passing accuracy, 100% dribble success, ten interceptions and four clearances. Overall the defender had a massive game that night at Walton Hall Park. She reached 70% success in all her actions.
Batlle has been consistent in her performances. She is a ball-winning defender and shows typical Spanish ‘close control’ when she’s won it. What makes her a stand-out player is not just what’s already mentioned but also the fact that Batlle doesn’t fear a great tackle. Compared to Lucy Bronze (Man City) and Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Batlle is close to the same success in percent winning the ball back by putting a delicious tackle in when needed.
Reading – Grace Moloney
Although England’s most capped ever player Fara Williams retired after 20 years of service, her teammate Grace Moloney was the x-factor for Reading last season.
The goalkeeper played all 22 games and kept a clean sheet five times, which resulted in a seventh-place finish for the Royals. Her stellar performances against top level teams like Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Everton, earned her both the Player of the Year and Player’s Player award.
The Royals goalkeeper pulled off top save after top save, but her standout performance of the year was arguably against runners-ups Man City.
Moloney managed to keep Gareth’s Taylor team at bay, pulling off some extraordinary saves against some of the greatest players in the league.
Given that Reading have already confirmed the departure of several vital members of the squad, it is crucial for Moloney to lead the team in and out of the pitch in the upcoming year.
Tottenham Hotspur – Alanna Kennedy
Alanna Kennedy is a player whose versatility makes her vital for any team she plays with. The Tottenham No.18 joined the club on loan from Orlando Pride and can play in midfield or defence, making her an easy choice for most managers starting XIs.
Whilst Kennedy on paper may not be a striker, the Australian international is no stranger to bagging herself a goal. Kennedy was recently awarded Goal of the Season for her free-kick against Manchester United.
This ability to prove a threat in all areas of the pitch has made Kennedy a key player for Spurs. With her success at the London club it is no surprise that the No.18 has activated the clause to make her loan move permanent.
West Ham – Kenza Dali
In what has been yet another disappointing season for West Ham, few players have stood out as their season as a long slog to avoid the drop.
Kenza Dali is a top quality player and her glimpses of pure talent helped drag the Hammers to their ebventual saftey. The midfielder never usually stole the headlines but her calm head on the pitch was always a huge factor in their victories.
Her stats certainly back up the reason why she was West Ham’s Player of the Season. Her 3.25 Shot creating action is the highest of any player currently at the club. Martha Thomas is behind her with 2.91, it highlights just how important Dali was to West Ham.
Despite moving to Everton joining the summer window, Dali was the driving force in West Ham’s side. She was the one, on numerous occasions, who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and got them up the pitch. Her willingness to get the ball moving into the final third is the main reason why West Ham stayed up this year.
The French international progressed with the ball into the opposition’s final third 57 times in the WSL which was the most at the club as well as attempting the most dribbles (35) and that is 12 more than the next closest teammate currently at the club in Adriana Leon.