All three players have been pivotal in propelling City’s campaign forward after a dismal start. The club suffered their worst opening of a WSL season, mainly due to injuries to key stars like Bronze, but they have revitalized their campaign. This was in part due to Weir’s marvelous goalscoring – particularly his winners against Manchester United – Stanway’s consistency in front of goal to become the team’s all-time top scorer, and Bronze’s reliability in defence.
And while City will miss their reliance on Weir and Stanway to deliver on the scoresheet, the biggest knock is Bronze. The team suffered irreparably when injured at the start of the season and they made a difference in the results when they returned to the field.
But that’s not where the bleeding stops for City. Karen Bardsley is retiring, Karima Benameur Taieb and Jill Scott are leaving and there are rumors clubs are circling to poach Keira Walsh.
The Sky Blues squad is full of English players and has a rich history of winning trophies. So why are so many stars leaving? This is the question on everyone’s lips and no answer has yet been concrete.
Some think it’s up to the new management. Gareth Taylor took over City in 2020 from Nick Cushing. The reason might be true for Stanway and Weir as they were already at the club when the transition happened but Bronze returned to City in 2020 and was brought back by Taylor.
Another suggestion is that the contract talks didn’t start on time and others believe it was the temptation to play overseas that saw them leave.
But whatever the reason, losing the players means City might not be as competitive next campaign.
The 21/22 season was the most thrilling yet with the trophy decided on the final day. Chelsea won it for a third successive season but Arsenal finished just one point behind them. Fans were gearing up for a 22/23 campaign where Arsenal, Chelsea, City and United could all vie for the crown, but with City dropping stars the exciting league opportunity could be cut short.
Of course, another battle between the Gunners and the Blues would be a treat and with United developing they would certainly be in the mix. But the fans want as much competition as possible, so seeing City crumble again would be frustrating.
The WSL transfer window doesn’t open until June 17 and City are expected to sign stars who will boost their competitive advantage. They also still have plenty of talent with Lauren Hemp, Ellen White, Chloe Kelly and Bunny Shaw on their roster sheets.
But losing huge names in a short time is not a good idea for the club, especially as their main rivals have managed to retain their biggest stars.
There had been a lot of speculation around where Vivianne Miedema would play next season. Barcelona were among the clubs courting the record-breaking striker, but Arsenal agreed a contract extension with the star. This is arguably the biggest contract extension in WSL history and it’s an honor for the Gunners that Miedema wants to stay at the club, especially as the side haven’t won a trophy at the moment. over the past few seasons.
Chelsea have also identified their player of the moment Sam Kerr. The Australian captain, who won WSL Player of the Year, Goal of the Year and the Golden Boot, has re-signed for Emma Hayes‘ in November and will remain at Chelsea until 2024.
There is now pressure over the next transfer window for City and despite all the questions surrounding the club, Taylor said the “future looks bright”.
After their FA Cup final loss to Chelsea, the manager said: “We are disappointed but we know we can do it. We know we are there and that we have areas for improvement. We have a lot of good young talent coming to the club, so the future is bright.
Time will tell if they bounce back from the exodus, but with holes in City’s squad the club could be about to enter an era they will want to forget.
Manchester City’s continued exodus could impact title hopes in increasingly competitive WSL
Source link Manchester City’s continued exodus could impact title hopes in increasingly competitive WSL