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From Stanway to Pugh: 10 young players to watch at the Womens World Cup | Suzanne Wrack

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Posted on : June 7, 2019

We pick ten extremely talented players who are aiming to have their international breakthrough in France this summer

Lea Schller, Germany

Age 21 Position Forward

Club SGS Essen

Lea Schller is making her major tournament debut at the World Cup. Having played at under-17, under-19 and under-20 levels, the electric forward was first called into the squad by the former manager Steffi Jones in 2017. She didnt get the nod for the 2017 European Championship but a change in manager hasnt halted her rise. The striker has 46 goals in 101 games for her club after making her Bundesliga debut at 16. Now she has eight in 12 internationals, scoring all four in a 4-0 defeat of the Czech Republic in qualifying and giving Germany a neat 1-0 win against France in February.

Germanys
Germanys Lea Schller in action against France earlier this year. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Aitana Bonmat, Spain

Age 21 Position Midfielder

Club Barcelona

Aitana Bonmat rose through the youth ranks at Barcelona before reaching the first team in 2016. The technically gifted midfielder has done so despite the Catalan club upping their investment in the womens side and spending big on players such as Lieke Martens and Toni Duggan. Holding her own, she has been a key part of the team that fought its way to a first Champions League final last month, before suffering a 4-1 defeat by Lyon. Bonmat made her senior Spain debut against Austria in qualifying and scored her first goal in a 2-1 loss to England in April. At youth level she won European Championship titles at under-17 level in 2015 and under-19 level in 2017.

Aitana
Aitana Bonmat has been with Barcelona since 2016. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/FIFA via Getty Images

Georgia Stanway, England

Age 20 Position Forward

Club Manchester City

Georgia Stanway captained the under-17 side to a bronze medal at the 2016 European Championship. Two years later she scored six times, beaten to the Golden Boot by Spains Patricia Guijarro on assists, on the way to a third-place finish at the Under-20 World Cup. One year on and she is in the senior side for the World Cup. The dynamic forward has 34 goals in 86 appearances for Manchester City and formed a formidable partnership with the outgoing Nikita Parris, helping fire City to a domestic cup double. The England manager, Phil Neville, has experimented with the 20-year-old in the No 10 position usually occupied by Fran Kirby, clearly with one eye on the fitness of his Chelsea playmaker, and Stanway has not looked out of place.

Englands
Englands Georgia Stanway has 34 goals in 86 appearances for Manchester City. Photograph: Matt Bunn/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

Ellie Carpenter, Australia

Age 19 Position Defender

Clubs Canberra/Portland Thorns

Already a regular for Australia despite her young age. Having made her debut against Vietnam in 2016 Carpenter has racked up 31 caps and has AFC Asian Cup and Olympic Games experience. The pacy right-back became the youngest player in NWSL history when she made her debut for the US powerhouse Portland Thorns in 2018. Shortly afterwards she became the leagues youngest goalscorer, netting the winner against Washington Spirit 22 days after her 18th birthday. The manager, Ante Milicic, has continued to blood youngsters, meaning Carpenter is no longer the baby of the group with the 16-year-old Mary Fowler in the squad.

Australias
Australias Ellie Carpenter, right, battles Englands Toni Duggan. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

Khadija Shaw, Jamaica

Age 22 Position Forward

Club Unsigned

Khadija Bunny Shaw became the poster girl of the Reggae Girlz first successful World Cup qualification campaign in the Concacaf Womens Championship 2018. Having made her senior debut in 2015 against Dominican Republic, she scored three goals in five to ensure Jamaica became the first Caribbean side to qualify for the 2019 Womens World Cup. Named the Guardians footballer of the year for 2018 for the feat while overcoming extraordinary personal tragedy, Shaw capped Jamaicas preparations with two goals in the 3-2 defeat to Scotland in front of a record Hampden Park crowd for a womens match. The 22-year-old scored 27 goals in 35 games for the University of Tennessee, is firmly in the shop window and likely to be snapped up by a top NWSL or European side.

Khadija
Khadija Shaw scored three goals in five games to ensure Jamaica became the first Caribbean side to qualify for the Womens World Cup. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Erin Cuthbert, Scotland

Age 20 Position Forward

Club Chelsea

Erin Cuthbert joined Chelsea from the Scottish Premier Leagues dominant force, Glasgow City, in 2016. She scored 19 goals on the way to a league winners medal and was named player of the year. In 2017 she scored 11 goals to help Chelsea to a league and FA Cup double. This year, while Chelsea have struggled, Cuthbert has shone. The Scots battling performances culminated with a blistering goal in a 2-1 defeat to Lyon in their Champions League semi-final first leg which was named UWCL goal of the season. She scored Scotlands first goal at a major tournament against Spain in the 2017 European Championship where, hobbled by injuries, the side failed to escape the group.

Scotlands
Scotlands Erin Cuthbert in action during the recent friendly against Jamaica. Photograph: Colin Poultney/ProSports/Rex/Shutterstock

Jun Endo, Japan

Age 19 Position Forward

Club Nippon TV Beleza

Jun Endo is one of 17 in Japans squad making a World Cup bow. The forward made her debut at the deep end in Japans 2-2 draw with USA at the SheBelieves Cup this year. The 19-year-old scored three goals as Japan finished runners-up at the 2016 Under-17 World Cup. Two years later she scored twice as the under-20 side won a World Cup title. England demolished Japan 3-0 at the SheBelieves Cup but despite their youth, Japan cannot be ignored in the title talk. They won the 2011 World Cup and finished runners-up to USA in Canada in 2015.

Japans
Japans forward Jun Endo battles for the ball with Germanys Lena Sophie Oberdorf. Photograph: Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Jessie Fleming, Canada

Age 21 Position Midfielder

Club UCLA Bruins

Jessie Fleming made her debut for the senior side in 2013 aged 15, becoming the second youngest to play for Canada. Despite her age this is Flemings second World Cup. In 2015 she started Canadas final group game against the Netherlands in front of a 45,420 home crowd and was part of the national team that powered to a bronze medal against Brazil at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She joined UCLA shortly after the Olympics and has recorded 22 goals and 18 assists for the college team where she plays alongside Australias Teagan Micah. At 21 she has 65 caps, scoring eight goals and is vital to Canadas midfield.

Canadas
Canadas Jessie Fleming, made her debut for the senior side in 2013 aged 15, becoming the second youngest to play for Canada. Photograph: NurPhoto/via Getty Images

Victoria Pelova, Netherlands

Age 19 Position Midfielder

Club Ajax

Having made a name for herself with ADO Den Haag, Victoria Pelova has joined Ajax before the World Cup. While compatriot Lieke Martens was lighting up a home European Championship, Pelova was shining in Belfast at the 2017 Under-19 European Championship. The now 20-year-old caught the eye of Sabrina Wiegman and was handed her first senior cap in January 2018.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/jun/05/10-young-players-womens-world-cup-france-2019

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