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Women's Super League

Miedema, Kerr and the Women's Super League team of the season

10:00 AM EDT 5/10/21
Chloe Kelly Vivianne Miedema Sam Kerr split
The league's two top goal-scorers feature in Goal's best XI for the 2020-21 campaign, which saw Chelsea retain their title

Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal dominate Goal's Women's Super League team of the season after once again locking out the top three spots in the league, all clinching Women's Champions League football for next season as a result.

The Blues clinched the title for a second successive year, their fourth title overall, while City came second for the fifth time in six years - the only exception being the 2016 season, when they won the division.

Manchester United, who topped the table at Christmas but just missed out on the European spots in the end, are the only other club represented in this XI, telling of the 15-point gap between the top four and the rest of the league.

  • Ellie Roebuck Manchester City Women 2020-21

    GK | Ellie Roebuck

    Only Ann-Katrin Berger kept more clean sheets this campaign than Man City's Ellie Roebuck, the 21-year-old having another excellent year after also making Goal's 2019-20 team of the season.

    That Golden Glove award would have likely been shared too, had Roebuck not missed the final day of the season through injury.

    She has a strong defence in front of her to help, but a save percentage of 68% - the fourth highest of any goalkeeper playing more than 10 WSL games - shows the England international more than plays her part, too.

    “The sky's the limit for Ellie," head coach Gareth Taylor said earlier this season. “She’s a great girl to work with, really mature for her age, enjoys the challenge and gets the bit between her teeth."

  • Ona Batlle Manchester United Women 2020-21

    RB | Ona Batlle

    After signing from Levante in the summer, Ona Batlle has quickly endeared herself to Manchester United fans this season with performances that typify the modern day full-back.

    As well as being an excellent attacking threat, playing at times in an inverted full-back role that sees her really get at teams in the final third, the Spaniard has shown just what a brilliant one-v-one defender she can be.

    Despite playing for a team that are one of the strongest in the league, she is among the top five when it comes to tackles won this year. At 21 years old, she will only get better, too.

  • Magdalena Eriksson Chelsea Women 2020

    CB | Magdalena Eriksson

    To understand how good Magdalena Eriksson is, and how important she is to her team, one only has to look at how Chelsea have performed without her this season.

    The Blues' captain is the leader of this title-winning side and whole team looks more assured when she is on the pitch, such is her status as one of the best centre-backs in Europe and, arguably, the best in the WSL.

    That Emma Hayes touted her as a future Chelsea manager earlier this season tells you everything you need to know about her character and footballing intelligence.

  • Alex Greenwood Manchester City Women 2020-21

    CB | Alex Greenwood

    When Alex Greenwood returned to the WSL in the summer, most expected her to renew a competition for places that she is familiar with when playing for England, battling with Demi Stokes for the starting left-back spot at City.

    As the season transpired, Greenwood instead spent most of it as a centre-back - and she has thrived, having the best individual season of her career to date.

    Her composure in possession has been essential for the way City play, while her set-piece deliveries have been problematic for every team in the league. Arsenal's Katie McCabe was the only defender to create more chances all season.

  • Katie McCabe Arsenal Women 2020-21

    LB | Katie McCabe

    Only one player in the entire WSL created more chances than Arsenal left-back Katie McCabe this season - Man City winger Chloe Kelly. Those two, along with Fran Kirby, also ended the campaign tied on assists, with 11 each.

    For McCabe to be such an attacking threat from a defensive position is telling of how the Gunners set up and McCabe's own roots as a more advanced player, but it is not only in the final third where she has shone.

    A respectable stat of 66% of tackles won shows she is more than capable of contributing at both ends, with her leadership - as captain of the Republic of Ireland - another big asset.

  • Melanie Leupolz Chelsea Women 2020-21

    CM | Melanie Leupolz

    With all the attacking talent Chelsea have, and the style they play, it is particularly important that their deep-lying midfielders excel.

    This season, in her first for the club since joining from Bayern Munich last summer, Melanie Leupolz did exactly that.

    With her tireless pressing, ability to break play up and even pop up with a few goals, the Germany international has played a huge, and often underrated, role in this all-conquering team.

    “She’s a sweetheart of a human, but don’t be fooled by that smile," Hayes said earlier this season. "She’s ruthless in her ambition to win. A perfect marriage, Chelsea and Melly Leupolz."

  • Sam Mewis Manchester City Women 2020

    CM | Sam Mewis

    Of all the U.S. women's national team players to join the WSL this season, none have shone quite as brightly as Sam Mewis.

    The 'Tower of Power' has been unstoppable at times, opponents having no answer to her driving at them with the ball or rising highest in the box to head home, as she has done for three of her seven league goals.

    Complement that with great footwork, an excellent work-rate and a will to grab a game by the scruff of the neck when it is needed, and City will certainly be sad to see the World Cup winner return to the U.S., if reports of her departure this summer are accurate.

  • Fran Kirby Chelsea Women 2020-21

    CM | Fran Kirby

    Player of the Season awards are often contentious, but there will be few as unanimous as Fran Kirby this year.

    The Chelsea star is one of only two players in the WSL to hit double figures for goals and assists, directly involved in a league goal every 51 minutes.

    The manner in which she has racked up those numbers has been an absolute joy to watch, forming a fluid partnership with Sam Kerr and showcasing the best football of her career to date.

    Given she suffered all last season with a heart disease, what she has done this year is all the more remarkable.

  • Chloe Kelly Manchester City Women 2020

    FW | Chloe Kelly

    When Chloe Kelly sat down to talk to Goal in August, having just joined Man City from Everton, she was determined.

    “I’ve not come here to just be a Man City player," she said. "I’ve come here to win titles. I’ve come here to be the best version of myself."

    She has certainly ticked those boxes. After winning the Women's FA Cup in November, the 23-year-old has been one of the best players in the league. 

    No one has created more chances, provided more assists or completed more dribbles. Kirby is the only player other than her to have double figures in goals and assists, too.

    That her season had to end with an ACL injury was heartbreaking and one will hope that, with her incredible attitude, Kelly will only come back stronger.

  • Vivianne Miedema Arsenal Women 2020

    FW | Vivianne Miedema

    What more is there to say about Vivianne Miedema?

    Aged 24, she became the WSL's all-time record goalscorer in October and has not stopped since.

    Only Sam Kerr scored more goals in the league this season, with Miedema's 18 helping to fire Arsenal into the Champions League spots after a tricky campaign.

    It is the variety in those goals that makes her stand out. Headers, one-on-ones, long-range strikes - you name it, she can do it.

    A player who prides herself on creating chances as much as finishing them, her contributions to this team have been incredibly important given the personnel Arsenal have lost to injury throughout the year.

  • Sam Kerr Chelsea Women 2020-21

    FW | Sam Kerr

    Sam Kerr quite enjoys hitting back at the critics. At the World Cup in 2019, she famously told Australia's "haters" to "suck on that one" after the Matildas came from 2-0 down to beat Brazil 3-2.

    This season, her talking has been done on the pitch, but it has been just as emphatic.

    Plenty seemed to doubt her quality after her move to Chelsea, but she has hit back with a league-high 21 goals, plus seven assists, combining excellently with Kirby to fire the Blues to another WSL title.

    "She’s got the whole package," Hayes said after the Australian made the "difference" in a crucial 2-2 draw with Man City in April. "I think she's playing the best football of her career."

  • Ella Toone Manchester United Women 2020

    Honourable mentions

    There have sadly been a number of players this season unfortunate not to be among the end of season awards due to injuries.

    Tobin Heath and Leah Galton were both exceptional for Man Utd before injuries ruled them for lengthy spells, and one has to wonder how the Red Devils' season would have panned out had neither struck such poor luck.

    Man City captain Steph Houghton has had one of her best seasons in recent memory, but missed the last two months of the campaign, while another injury to a key centre-back, Rikki Sevecke, had a bigger impact on Everton and their ambitions to secure a European place than many realise.

    For Lauren Hemp, the City and England winger, her injury came at the opposite end of the campaign, with her first league game not coming until December. Her form since Christmas has been nothing short of outstanding.

    Those certainly worth a mention that fortunately avoided spells on the sidelines like those above include Arsenal's Caitlin Foord, who has been excellent ever since her move to the Gunners last January; Ella Toone, the Man Utd starlet who won her first England cap this season due to her sublime form; and Maya Le Tissier, Brighton's versatile teenage defender who ranked seventh in this year's NXGN list.

    Arguably no position in any WSL team of the season will be more competitive than in between the sticks though. Ann-Katrin Berger made huge saves as Chelsea won the title, Hannah Hampton has had another superb campaign for Birmingham, while Everton's Sandy MacIver is another whose efforts this past year have been rewarded with an England appearance.