Lucy Staniforth of Birmingham City Birmingham City Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women, WSL football match, Sportnation.Bet Stadium, Solihull, UK - 04 Dec 2019 Photo: Paul Currie for The FA

OPINION: Five FAWSL players who could be in demand this summer

The summer transfer window is always an exciting time for all football fans with lots of players changing clubs ahead of the new season.

The 2020 summer window could be somewhat different with the Coronavirus pandemic having reaped havoc across the game, hitting clubs’ finances. Nevertheless, I have selected five players who I believe may either be likely to change clubs this summer or may attract the attention of potential admirers.

Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City)

Much was made of the Birmingham City exodus at the start of the season and Staniforth was one of the few top players who remained with the Midlands club, despite submitting a transfer request herself during the last summer window. With her contract running out at the end of this season, it stands to reason that she will be potentially playing her football elsewhere in the 2020/21 campaign. Still only 27 and an England international, Staniforth will not be short of suitors either in England or further afield. I am unsure whether the player will end up playing at a side competing for UEFA Champions League glory but ambitious mid-table clubs in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League could do a lot worse than look to acquire her services.

Mollie Green (Manchester United)

Green was a pivotal part of Manchester United’s inaugural professional campaign, scoring 13 goals across the season to help her side earn promotion and the FA Women’s Championship title. However, United’s number eight has appeared to be surplus to requirements this year having only made two appearances in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup for The Red Devils. She joined FA Women’s Championship club Sheffield United on loan in January and scored twice in four games for The Blades, already demonstrating the quality that she can offer in the second tier. Green may have to leave the Leigh Sports Village to get her career off the ground with a return to the FA Women’s Championship a possibility, although she does deserve a chance in the top flight.

Poppy Pattinson (Bristol City)

Despite being sidelined for much of the season through injury and making just nine appearances in all competitions for The Robins, its hard to ignore Pattinson’s class. It is no coincidence that Bristol City’s slight upturn in form occurred following the youngster’s return to the side, helping them achieve their first two league wins of the season. Many are tipping Pattinson to enjoy a career playing at the very top for club and country, but if that is to be the case, she may have to ply her trade elsewhere, away from a side struggling at the bottom of the table. Good quality left-backs are hard to come by and with the player having only just turned 20, Pattinson could be a tremendous asset for any potential admirers. Bristol City may face a battle to retain the player for next season should rival clubs having taken note of her positive performances.

Sophie Baggaley (Bristol City)

Like her Bristol City teammate, Baggaley still hasn’t reached her prime yet but at the age of 23, she has already racked up 69 Barclays FA Women’s Super League appearances and made last year’s PFA Team of the Year. Yet in spite of this, Bristol City have the highest number of goals conceded so far this season which is not an accurate or fair reflection of Baggaley’s prowess as a keeper. Despite her consistent excellent performances, a senior England call-up has not been forthcoming in recent times. You have to wonder whether she may have to consider a move to improve her international chances.

Mel Lawley (Liverpool)

Depending on what happens with the completion of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League season, Liverpool could very easily be playing FA Women’s Championship football next season. For someone like midfielder Lawley who has aspirations of adding to her 11 senior England caps, she needs to be playing top division football. If not, then she risks falling further behind a plethora of fellow midfield stars in the Lionesses pecking order. Consequently, she may need venture outside of Merseyside to showcase her talents next year to give herself an edge over the competition. Much depends on whether Liverpool come out on top in that relegation battle of course or if the league is declared void.

 

DISCLAIMER: All views stated in this article are based upon opinion

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