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Barclays FA Women's Super League rising stars: 11 players to look out for this season

Jessie Fleming, Chelsea Women
(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Jessie Fleming, Chelsea

Jessie Fleming had quite a summer, winning a gold medal at the Olympics with Canada. The 23-year-old midfielder was instrumental in their success, scoring the only goal in the semi-final and the equalising goal in the final, both from the penalty spot. She followed that up with scoring in the penalty shoot-out that secured the win over Sweden. A graduate of UCLA Bruins, Fleming will be hoping to break into Chelsea’s starting XI this season, having made only three Barclays FA Women's Super League starts last year.

2. Frida Maanum, Arsenal

Frida Maanum joined Arsenal this summer from Swedish side Linkopings, where she was club captain despite only being 22 years old. The Norwegian midfielder had plenty of interest from European clubs and has already shown why, looking calm and confident in Arsenal’s perfect start to the season. She recently followed up scoring her first Arsenal goal against Barcelona in the Champions League with a magnificent strike from outside the box against Everton for her first Barclays FA Women's Super League goal. 

3. Hanna Bennison, Everton

Everton broke their transfer record to sign 19-year-old Hanna Bennison from Swedish side Rosengard this summer. Bennison made her debut for the club at just 15 years old and is one of the most highly-rated young players in the world. She is able to play in a variety of attacking positions, and has been one of the few bright sparks in a turbulent start to the season for Everton. Her goal against Birmingham showed just how much quality she has.

4. Ella Toone, Manchester United

Ella Toone, Manchester United Women

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If last year’s stars for Manchester United were Christen Press and Tobin Heath, this year it is set to be Ella Toone. That is how high Toone’s level has been as she has grown into her role as United’s on-field leader. New coach Marc Skinner has utilised her as a false nine or in her more familiar No.10 role and she has rewarded him with two goals and four assists in the opening five matches, the joint fourth most in the league.

5. Asmita Ale, Tottenham

Asmita Ale’s break out season at Aston Villa saw her get a move to Tottenham this summer. The 20 year old right back forced her way into Villa’s side last year as they were staring down the barrel of relegation and played every minute in their final five games where five draws saw them stay up. Under Rehanne Skinner at Tottenham this season, Ale has already displaced 19 year old Esther Morgan, a rising star in her own right, in the starting line-up. She particularly showed her maturity by marking Lauren Hemp in Tottenham’s shock 2-1 win over Manchester City.

6. Maya Le Tissier, Brighton

Maya Le Tissier might be only 19 but she has already racked up 42 Barclays FA Women's Super League appearances for Brighton over four seasons. The Guernsey born defender has shown her versatility this season in particular by playing at right-back or as a right-sided centre-back in a back three, with manager Hope Powell even using her in defensive midfield. Her performances have helped Brighton concede only five goals so far this season - the same number as Chelsea!

7. Lotte Wubben-Moy, Arsenal

Lotte Wobben-Moy, Arsenal Women

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lotte Wubben-Moy returned to Arsenal last season after three years away in America at college. She had previously made her debut for Arsenal as a 16-year-old, and the centre-back looks set to be the long-term partner for Leah Williamson at the heart of the Arsenal defence. That could be even better news for England, who Wubben-Moy has now got four caps for. Defensively solid, Wubben-Moy is also a threat in the air in the opposition box.

8. Grace Fisk, West Ham

Grace Fisk is another centre-back who spent her college years in America but has since returned. She played every minute of West Ham’s campaign last season, the only player to do so, but injuries have seen her only play twice this year. A strong 1v1 defender, Fisk has already become one of the most important players in West Ham’s squad.

9. Jess Park, Manchester City

As first Barclays FA Women's Super League starts go, they do not get much more daunting than Chelsea away. But Gareth Taylor chose to hand that opportunity to 20 year old Jess Park last season, showing just how much faith he has in the young winger. She has already played close to as many minutes this season as she did in the whole of last, and it was her long-range effort coming off the crossbar that allowed Ellen White to tap in an all-important equaliser in the Manchester derby.  

10. Maz Pacheco, Aston Villa

Maz Pacheco is already on the fifth club of her career at only 23 years old. But the young left-back is gradually proving herself to be one of the most reliable fullbacks in the Barclays FA Women's Super League. Since her move to Aston Villa, she has played every minute of this season under manager Carla Ward. Pacheco is known for bringing lots of flair to the pitch; she has the highest number of nutmegs this season, with six!

11. Deanne Rose, Reading

There aren’t many players who can say they have had starring roles in winning their country not one, but two Olympic medals by the age of 22 but Deanne Rose is not like other players. Having scored the opener in Canada’s 2016 Olympics Bronze medal match, Rose coolly dispatched a penalty in the 2021 final shoot out to help her country take Gold. 

It was some coup then that Reading announced they had signed Rose, who had been selected 10th in the NWSL draft by the North Carolina Courage, ahead of this season. Despite a tricky start to the year for her club, Rose has shown no signs of concern, scoring twice and picking up one assist in four starts.

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