The Women’s Super League (WSL) is back and is set to be the biggest season yet following England’s triumph at Euro 2022.
The league has seen a surge in popularity and ticket sales, with some matches being played at the men’s stadiums and attracting record crowds.
Who are the players and teams to watch in this exciting and competitive league? Here are two of the rising stars and teams that are making waves in the English women’s soccer scene.
Martha Thomas: The surprise signing for Tottenham
It is probably safe to say that Martha Thomas was not the most planned of purchases for Tottenham this summer. With the transfer window closing and the talismanic Bethany England out after undergoing hip surgery, Robert Vilahamn needed to find a No 9 quickly, a position that is notoriously hard to fill. He has, however, struck gold with Thomas’ deadline day signing.
The 25-year-old striker has been in sensational form for Spurs, scoring 3 goals in her first 3 games. She has also earned praise from her manager, who said: "She is a fantastic player, she works hard, she is humble and she is hungry." Thomas will be hoping to continue her hot streak and help Tottenham challenge for a top-four spot.
Alessia Russo: The future star for Arsenal
One of the most exciting players in the WSL is Alessia Russo, a 24-year-old forward who plays for Arsenal and the England national team. Russo joined Arsenal in 2023 from Manchester United, where she was their joint-top scorer in the previous season with 10 goals and one assist in 20 matches.
Russo also won Euro 2022 with England last summer, scoring four goals as a substitute, including a memorable backheel in the semi-finals.
Russo is known for her pace, skill, finishing and versatility, as she can play as a striker, a winger or a number 10. She has already scored one goal for Arsenal this season, a stoppage-time winner against Aston Villa.
Chelsea: The dominant force in the WSL
It is going to be a difficult task to knock defending champions Chelsea off their perch. Emma Hayes’ side are going for a fourth consecutive WSL title having pipped Arsenal to the 2021-22 trophy on the final day of the season. They have also won the FA Cup twice and the Continental Cup once in that period, making them the most successful team in England.
Chelsea have started the season strongly, winning six of their seven league games and scoring 21 goals. They have also progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, where they will face Wolfsburg in a repeat of last season’s semi-final. Chelsea have shown their resilience and quality, coming back from behind to win against Manchester City and Arsenal.
Chelsea are the team to beat in the WSL and have set their sights on winning more trophies this season. They have also set an example for other teams in terms of professionalism, investment and ambition.