Check Out These FIVE World Cup Starts Set To Light Up The WSL

Women's Super League.

The Barclays Women's Super League

The Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand smashed every record possible in terms of attendances and viewing figures, but now it’s the turn of the Women’s Super League to take centre stage.

This summer’s transfer window was described as ‘wild’ by one WSL manager, and it’s no surprise when so much money was being splashed about by English clubs – relative to the Women’s game – so I have picked out my five players you should be excited about ahead of the new season kicking off on Sunday.

Geyse – Manchester United (Forward)

Geyse could well be the player I’m most excited to see tackle the WSL. Having not really had a chance to show her true talent on the world stage in Australia due to Brazil’s embarrassingly early exit at the group stages, stepping out of the Barcelona bubble could well take her to the next level.

This season will be interesting at Leigh Village with Manchester United set to welcome Champions League football – for at least one against PSG – but having lost Alessia Russo and Ona Batlle it will be difficult to live up to last season’s standards.

However, the signing of Geyse – whom Barcelona were adamant they didn’t want to leave – should allow Marc Skinner to play with a new dynamic with her speed and intelligence on the ball able to take Man United to the next level, which is proven in her stats ranking in the top percentiles when it comes to successful take-ons and progressive carries (FBRef).

The Brazilian international is certainly going to be a player that gets fans off their seats and excited whenever she’s on the ball.

Ashley Lawrence – Chelsea (Defender)

An attacking full-back who can also operate effectively as a wide player? Ashley Lawrence sounds like the perfect player for Chelsea and Emma Hayes as they look to overcome the European hurdle that’s holding them back from tasting victory on all fronts.

Lawrence was an ever-present for Canada during their 2021 Olympics success, as well as their disappointing World Cup campaign, but the latter can’t be blamed on the former PSG ace and instead, Chelsea fans should only be excited to watch her star at both ends of the pitch.

The Canadian International is one of the most attacking and athletic full-backs in the game, but there is far more to her game. For PSG last season, Lawrence averaged 2.21 shot-creating actions per game in the league showing her attacking abilities, but also loves the defensive side of being a modern-day full-back having won 17 of her 21 tackles (FBRef).

Hayes identified Lawrence’s versatility and ability to progress forward from her defensive third as a key reason for bringing her in, she said: “Her ability to get forward and her progressive play into the final third is a standout strength and she can play on both the left and right side.”

Daphne Van Domselaar – Aston Villa (Goalkeeper)

Aston Villa are the team I am backing to make a very solid and real push for the European spots. I do think they will just miss out, but I can see them finishing above Manchester United and a lot of that will be down to their brick wall of a goalkeeper.

All English football fans got a first-hand view on Monday night of just how good Daphne Van Domselaar is as she pulled off world-class saves against Lauren Hemp and was a big reason why the Netherlands picked up all three points, so Carla Ward will have been licking her lips at the thought her seeing ehr lineup between the sticks this campaign.

It would have been easy for Villa to sit and rest on their laurels after finishing a very respectable fifth place, but instead, they’ve pulled off some amazing pieces of business, but none more so than the Dutch number one, Van Domselaar.

After getting the chance to watch her first hand out in Australia, do not be surprised if she ends up becoming the best goalkeeper in the entire WSL, taking over from Mary Earps.

Kyra Cooney Cross – Arsenal (Midfielder)

It was certainly a whirlwind summer for Cooney-Cross who went from plying her trade out in an underfunded Australia Women’s League, to then becoming a global superstar who started every single game for the Matildas and saw her name linked with Chelsea, Everton and finally, her current club, Arsenal.

The Gunners left it very late in the transfer window but they handed Jonas Eidevall, in his own words, ‘one of the best young players in world football,’ and I think when handed the chance she will turn out to be one of the more important players for Arsenal.

The Gunners have a stacked midfield department so regular starts will be difficult to come by, but given she’s just 21 years old, Eidevall can ease her into life in England, and by the end of the season, I fully expect her to be a game changer for the Gunner.

Hinata Miyazawa – Manchester United (Midfielder)

Losing the goals of Alessia Russo was always going to be a blow for Skinner and it will be a very difficult adjustment period, but recruiting the Women’s World Cup Golden Boot winner is one way of going about solving the issue.

Hinata Miyazawa started all but one game for Japan at the World Cup, including that demolition of eventual winners Spain, so Skinner will be hoping she carries that form over into her debut WSL season.

The Japan international was electric at carrying the ball forward at the World Cup and also reacted very well when the ball fell to her in the final third, so despite having played in a much more below-par Japanese league for the past two seasons, she should have no troubles adapting to a much more technical, physical and better-equipped league.

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Written by

Aaron Hindhaugh

Qualified and experienced journalist covering all aspects of news and sport. Specialist in both Men's and Women's football with increasing coverage of golf and tennis.