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Barclays WSL Player of the Season 2022/23: Who will take the award?

With an exhilarating season of the Women’s Super League coming to a close, there have been plenty of outstanding individual performances throughout the 22/23 campaign. With 8 nominees, each of whom have enjoyed remarkable seasons for their respective clubs, who will be named the WSL player of the year for the 22/23 season?

Here is a short rundown of the 8 nominees.

Rachel Daly

Being Aston Villa’s standout summer signing, Daly has had an exceptional debut season with the club, playing a significant part in their breakthrough into the top half of the WSL table. The forward is currently leading the golden boot race, with 21 goals, and is one goal behind Vivianne Miedema’s record of most goals scored in a season going into the final weekend. Daly painted the picture for her season when she scored a brace on her debut against Manchester City, including the decisive goal in the tight game as the Villans won 4-3. Becoming an asset to Carla Ward’s side, she has put in some valuable performances throughout the season.

Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw

Manchester City’s clinical forward Khadija Shaw has been key in keeping the sides ambitions for European football alive, with 24 goal contributions. Shaw is in the battle for the golden boot, just three goals behind leader Rachel Daly going into the last week. She impressed early in the season scoring 8 goals in 7 in the early part of the season and added 10 throughout the new year, which led to her winning player of the month on two occasions, in November and March. Recently being named CONCACAF Women’s Player of the Year, her ability to play as a winger or a striker makes her a threat in front of goal.

Guro Reiten

Standing out in a team full of big names, with the likes of Sam Kerr, Lauren James and Pernille Harder, Guro Reiten has had an exceptional season and is helping Chelsea to what could be a 4th consecutive league title. Being a highly intelligent and consistent player, the winger has had goal involvements in 12 of the 20 games she has played this season. The Norwegian has 10 assists, the most in the league this season, besides the 8 goals she has scored in impressive fashion. With Lauren James’ form dropping and Sam Kerr not reaching the numbers we expected this season, Reiten has been Chelsea’s unsung hero.

Sam Kerr

After scoring 20 goals in the 21/22 campaign and previously winning the accolade, Kerr’s numbers have fallen below her exceptionally high standards, scoring half the number of goals this season. Despite this, the forward still has played a hugely significant role in Chelsea’s run in the title race as a ‘big game player’ scoring goals to secure important results. The Australian international scored a late equaliser over London rivals Arsenal at the Emirates and played a key role in their fixtures against title rivals Manchester United, scoring and assisting to secure a 3-1 win for the Blues away from home, in addition to scoring an all-important goal to seal Chelsea a hard-earned 1-0 win at home.

Frida Leonhardsen Maanum

Highly impressive for Arsenal in her second season with the club, the 23-year-old has shown her dominance in midfield throughout the campaign. Maanum has become the club’s top goal scorer this season with 9 goals, many of which have been scored in spectacular fashion, in important fixtures and tight games. The midfielder has been important in fuelling the Gunners’ attack with 4 assists and with Arsenal aiming for a top 3 finish to secure European football Maanum’s presence has been notable.

Leah Galton

The Manchester United forward has had an excellent season for the club. Having provided important goals for Marc Skinner’s side, she has been a principal player in the Red Devils’ charge for the title this season, coming down to the last weekend of the season. An important goal in a 1-1 Manchester derby, an equaliser against Villa where United came out victorious at 3-2, and a decisive goal to make it 2-1 against Spurs have been some of Galton’s standout moments this campaign. With 14 goal contributions, Galton has scored 10 goals over the season, and sits as joint top goal scorer with Alessia Russo for United this season.

Ona Batlle

Batlle has been one of Manchester United’s most consistent performers since signing in the Summer of 2020; both Batlle and Galton have had an appreciable part in the Reds’ challenge for the title this season. Having a significant impact in attack, with 9 assists to her name this season, she has also been an influential part of United’s defence, helping them maintain the best defensive record in the league - only conceding 12 goals in 21 games, whilst maintaining 13 clean sheets.

Kirsty Hanson

A season-long loan from Manchester United means Hanson has been important for Aston Villa this season. The forward has flourished under the management of Carla Ward with 7 goals throughout the season, including key goals such as an all-important equaliser against Manchester City. Battling into the top half of the table with Villa, the Scottish international sits just behind Chelsea’s Reiten with 9 assists to her name going into the last week of the season.

With many impressive nominees, who will take the WSL Player of the Season award?

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