FA Women's Super League 2022/23: Top five players to watch the season after England's Euro triumph

Sarina Wingman's England side triumphed at the European Championships in July. We take a look some of the stars from that triumph who are set to light up the England football's WSL.

By Courtney Hill. Created on 25 August 2022.
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

When the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) kicks off on 10 September 2022, it will have been over a month since England won the women’s European Championships.

After years of belief and hope, football finally came home.

That victory for Sarina Wiegman's team means there are high expectations and excitement in equal measure, as players from the Lionesses squad take on the domestic season with their respective clubs.

Below, we highlight which European champions you should keep an eye out for in the 2022/23 WSL campaign.

England celebrate winning their first-ever major trophy at the 2022 European Championships

Leah Williamson - Arsenal

This summer, Leah Williamson wrote her name in the English football history books.

She became the first England captain to lead their team to a major trophy since Bobby Moore inspired the men’s team to World Cup glory in 1966.

Her attention now turns to Arsenal, and figuring out how to end Chelsea's dominance in the WSL over the last three seasons.

Williamson can play as both a centre-back and a centre-midfielder, but mostly operates along the backline for the Gunners.

The 25-year-old has a remarkable passing range, reads the game superbly, and has a knack of nullifying the threat from opposition attackers.

Her leadership qualities shone for England this summer, and she should have the same impact for her club teammates in the upcoming campaign.

Keira Walsh - Manchester City

Manchester City’s Keira Walsh was another standout performer during the women’s European Championships and is now considered one of the world's best midfielders.

It’s a role she has been performing for her club since she joined them in 2014.

City revamped their squad - and particularly their midfield - significantly this summer, after the likes of Georgia Stanway and Caroline Weir opted to move abroad.

But despite the absence of those stars, Walsh ensures that her team will have an anchor in the middle of the middle of the park.

After being knocked out of the Champions League first round by Real Madrid, the Citizens will be fully focused on the league and domestic cup competitions, and Walsh's presence will be essential to that effort.

Midfield maestro for club and country Keira Walsh
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Alessia Russo and Ella Toone - Manchester United

Best friends Alessia Russo and Ella Toone emerged as fan favourites during Euro 2022.

Russo's backheeled goal against Sweden and Toone's vital goals against Spain and Germany in the final were their standout moments, and recieved adulation from the likes of Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane.

Russo, 23, is arguably one of the most complete forwards in world football right now with a clinical finish and the ability to stand up defenders.

Academy product Toone, 22, is an attacking midfielder in its purest form: linking play between midfield and attack, picking up spaces in the opposition half and dropping between the lines to receive the ball in key areas.

Last season saw her register seven goals and eight assists.

If United are to finally secure a top-three finish - and a spot in the Champions League - this duo will be fundamental.

Alessia Russo and Ella Toone celebrate winning the European Championships 
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Chloe Kelly - Manchester City

Chloe Kelly is the comeback queen.

In 2021, the 24-year-old tore her ACL and was forced into a lengthy spell on the sidelines, jeapordising her place at the Euros.

But less than a year later, she made headlines after scoring the extra-time winner that saw England lift their first major trophy infront of a sold-out Wembley Stadium.

Despite being used largely as an impact sub by England boss Sarina Wiegman, she is one of the first names on the team sheet for Man City.

Like fellow winger and teammate Lauren Hemp, Kelly has the ability to excite fans with every touch. The pair are unplayable at times.

Former Evertonian Kelly will be hoping to make up for lost time, and if fit, will likely cause havoc against defences this season.

Chloe Kelly is back from injury and will be a key cog for Manchester City

The Lionesses of the future

After the retirement of Jill Scott and Ellen White, a new era of England players are set to fill their shoes.

Two players in particular to keep an eye on, who have just been called up by Wiegman ahead of World Cup qualifiers, are Lauren James and Ebony Salmon.

James, who plays her club football with Chelsea, is one of the most technically gifted players in the league.

She is a nightmare for opposition players who attempt to get the ball off her, possessing both strength to keep them at bay and the close control in tight areas to keep it at her feet.

The 20-year-old is also a powerful finisher. Having now got up to speed with Chelsea's system since her transfer, the upcoming season could be the one in which she really makes her mark.

Could this be the club and country breakout season for Lauren James (left)?
Picture by 2021 Getty Images


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