Manchester United Women have announced their new look squad for their upcoming 2018/19 campaign in the new FA Women’s Championship.

But new fans to the women’s game may be wondering: Who? With the majority of players youngsters from around the top two tiers of the women’s game in England, some casual fans may not be aware of just who their club has snapped up over the past six weeks, or why.

Squad

OGM has profiled all 21 players so you can get to know the new Manchester United squad better.

Goalkeepers

Siobhan Chamberlain

Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 34 (08/15/1983)
Nationality: English (50 caps/0 goals)
Prior Clube: Liverpool
Previous Clubs: Chelsea, Fulham, Birmingham City, Bristol Academy, Chelsea, Vancouver Whitecaps, Bristol Academy, Arsenal, Notts County

By far and away the most experienced player in the Manchester United squad, Chamberlain is in fact the only player signed by Casey Stoney over the age of 30. A regular for the top clubs in the country over the years and halfway to being an England centurion, the signing of such an experienced goalkeeper is a real coup for Stoney.

Chamberlain made her Lionesses debut back in 2004 and became an able deputy over the years, replacing Karen Bardsley in both quarterfinals of the 2015 World Cup and 2017 European Championships under Mark Sampson.

Chamberlain will once again work and develop former Liverpool teammate Emily Ramsey and also former Manchester City goalkeeper Fran Bentley as Stoney largely puts her faith in youth as backup to her own former teammate.

 

Emily Ramsey

Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 17 (11/16/2000)
Nationality: English (U-20 international)
Prior Club: Liverpool
Previous Clubs: Manchester United

Emily Ramsey is one of the brightest young goalkeepers in the country and left Manchester United initially little more than a year ago due to the lack of pathway once she and many of her team mates made it to 16.

Ramsey left for new pastures at Liverpool to nurture and develop under the guidance of England international Siobhan Chamberlain and will now do the same working under former teammate Casey Stoney at Manchester United once again.

Ramsey has played for England at every youth level up to the U-20s and could find herself being called up by Mo Marley in the coming weeks for next month’s U-20 World Cup in France.

 

Fran Bentley

Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 17 (06/26/2001)
Nationality: English (U17 international)
Signed from: Manchester City
Previous Clubs: Manchester United

The third goalkeeper signed by Casey Stoney to offer up competition to likely number one Siobhan Chamberlain, Bentley, like Ramsey, spent most of her childhood playing for Manchester United before reaching the age of 16.

While Ramsey went west to Liverpool, Bentley stayed much closer to home and joined neighbours Manchester City, playing regularly for the club’s development squad throughout the 2017/18 season.

Bentley won the FA Girls Youth Cup and FA Development Cup titles in a successful season on the blue side of Manchester but is now back at her former home to rival Ramsey to be the first choice deputy to Chamberlain.

Defenders

Kirsty Smith

Position: Right back/Left Back
Age: 24 (01/06/1994)
Nationality: Scottish (29 caps/0 goals)
Prior Club: Hibernian
Previous Clubs: Musselburgh Windsor

Kirsty Smith joins the club after 10 years in Scotland with Hibernian, before it was announced her and teammate Lizzie Arnot would leave the club last month.

Smith was once, and still can be, a midfielder but has more recently been seen as a full back capable of playing on either the right or left side. Smith made her debut in the World Cup playoff against the Netherlands in 2014 and has gone on to be a regular in the squads under Shelley Kerr since.

Another player who worked with assistant Willie Kirk while he was manager of Hibernian, the Scot will be a valuable addition to the new-look United.

 

Martha Harris

Position: Right back/center back
Age: 23 (08/19/1994)
Nationality: English (Former U-23 international)
Prior Club: Liverpool
Previous Clubs: Lincoln City

Martha Harris made her debut in the FA WSL back in 2012 as a teenager for Lincoln City Ladies before they rebranded and moved to Notts County. Her performances in 2013 saw her earn a move to then champions Liverpool, a move which would eventually see her become the first winner of the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year in 2014.

Predominantly a right back who is capable of slotting in on the left or even at centre back, Harris has battled back from recent injury layoffs and reinstated herself into the Liverpool team toward the end of last season.

Coming from a football family, Harris was managed by her dad Glen at Lincoln and played alongside her sister Megan at the club. Harris is also the sister-in-law of her new manager at Manchester United.

 

Amy Turner

Position: Center back
Age: 27 (07/04/1991)
Nationality: English (4 caps/0 goals)
Prior Club: Liverpool
Previous Clubs: Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Hofstra Pride, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Leeds United, Sheffield FC, Notts County

Growing up in Sheffield, defender Amy Turner played for both major clubs in the city before joining Doncaster Belles as a teenager in 2007. Turner had a brief spell at Hofstra University in the United States before returning to the Belles in 2011.

Turner’s big break came in 2013 when she was signed by Lincoln City after a couple of years outside the top division of women’s football. Turner remained with the club and became a key player of the rebranded Notts County under manager Rick Passmoor and joined Liverpool in 2017 after County folded at the start of the Spring Series.

Unfortunately, an ACL injury curtailed the start to her career at Liverpool and Turner didn’t make her debut until January 2018. At 27, she’s experienced and was nominated for the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year in 2015 and has four England caps to her name, the first coming in March 2015 at the Cyprus Cup, ironically when she’d been called up due to an injury picked up by Casey Stoney.

 

Lucy Roberts

Position: Center back
Age: 17 (05/11/1991)
Nationality: English (U-17 international)
Prior Club: Liverpool

Lucy Roberts is one of two young defenders who trained and played with Casey Stoney at Liverpool last season that the new manager has seen fit to make part of her squad at Manchester United.

Roberts made her debut for Liverpool at the start of the year in an FA Cup match against Watford and has become a regular starter for John Griffiths’ England U-17 side.

Roberts has been with Liverpool since the age of 12 but will have learned an awful lot training with Stoney and will learn more playing under her leadership this season and beyond.

 

Naomi Hartley

Position: Center back
Age: 17
Nationality: English (U-17 international)
Prior Club: Liverpool
Previous Clubs: Burnley, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United

Like Lucy Roberts, Naomi Hartley comes in as a young teenage defender from Casey Stoney’s former club and also plays alongside Roberts at center back for the England U-17 team.

Hartley already has the leadership skills Stoney once used as England captain in her role as captain of John Griffiths’ U-17 side, but sadly Hartley missed the recent European Championships qualification campaign because of a ligament injury.

Unlike Roberts, who has spent the majority of her childhood on Merseyside, Hartley is another of the players returning to United with whom she joined after being scouted during her spells at Burnley and Blackburn Rovers.

 

Alex Greenwood

Position: Left back/Left winger
Age: 24 (09/07/1993)
Nationality: English (27 caps/2 goals)
Prior Club: Liverpool
Previous Clubs: Everton, Notts County

Perhaps the biggest coup of all for Casey Stoney is the capture of former Liverpool and England teammate Alex Greenwood. The marauding left back is a current England international and was a regular member of the team at both the 2015 World Cup and 2017 European Championships, playing in the bronze medal match against Germany in Canada three years ago.

With one of the best left foots in the league, Greenwood regularly chips in with assists in the FA WSL and was often used as a left winger at times for Liverpool toward the end of last season. Greenwood made her England debut four years ago and has two goals for her country and has still been a member of squads under new head coach Phil Neville.

A wicked set-piece taker, Greenwood can be expected to take corners, free kicks, and possibly even penalties for United this season.

Midfielders

Millie Turner

Position: Center midfield
Age: 22 (07/07/1996)
Nationality: English (U-23 international)
Prior Club: Bristol City
Previous Clubs: Stockport County, Manchester City, Crewe Alexandra, Manchester United, Everton

A tall player for her age, Millie Turner has emerged as one of the better talented young midfielders in the FA WSL in recent seasons. One of seven Manchester United graduated returning to the club in Casey Stoney’s first squad, she’s also one of several to have worked with assistant manager Willie Kirk in recent years.

Turner joined Everton in 2013 after leaving United but was snapped up by Kirk after Bristol achieved promotion from FA WSL 2 in time for the 2017 Spring Series. After the departures of several experienced players, Turner was named club captain at just 21 years of age at the start of 2017/18 season so it’s no surprise to see a former United graduate and midfielder under Kirk pop up at United this season.

 

Aimee Palmer

Position: Center midfield
Age: 17 (07/25/2000)
Nationality: English (U-19 international)
Prior Club: Bristol City

One of two players alongside Millie Turner to have worked alongside assistant manager Willie Kirk over the past 12 months, the central midfielder has had quite a year and emerged as a bright young player and worked her way quickly up through the England ranks.

Palmer has predominantly spent her time in the U-18 side in recent months but has occasionally been used in Mo Marley’s U-19 squads and Palmer was last month named in an initial long list of 35 players who could go to next month’s U-20 World Cup in France.

Palmer’s U-19 debut in April couldn’t have gone any better, the midfielder finding the net against Israel in a 4-1 victory.

 

Lizzie Arnot

Position: Winger/Striker
Age: 22 (03/01/1996)
Nationality: Scottish (15 caps/0 goals)
Prior Club: Hibernian
Previous Clubs: Hutchison Vale

If anyone deserves a fortunate break, it’s Scotland international Lizzie Arnot. The winger/striker was in top form for Hibernian in 2017 and was all set for not just a call-up to her first major tournament with Scotland at Euro 2017, but also a high-profile move to then FA WSL champions Manchester City.

But an ill-timed ACL injury put all that out of the window, and left Arnot in Scotland watching Euro 2017 from home before returning to the team earlier in 2018. The goal-scoring midfielder appears to have lost none of her talent after bagging an incredible five goals in a recent Scottish Cup final victory over Celtic.

Arnot is also capable of playing further forward but also on either side of the pitch as she’s shown for her club since returning from injury.

 

Katie Zelem

Position: Attacking midfield/Center midfield
Age: 22 (01/20/1996)
Nationality: English (U-23 international)
Prior Club: Juventus
Previous Clubs: Manchester United, Liverpool 

Katie Zelem’s signing is another real coup for manager Casey Stoney. The creative midfielder joined Manchester United initially at the age of eight and spent almost a decade there before moving away to join Liverpool who were just about to win the FA WSL for the first time.

Injury meant Zelem didn’t make her first team debut until halfway through Liverpool’s second title-winning season in 2014 and soon became the goal-scoring attacking midfielder Matt Beard wanted her to be, so much so he compared her to Frank Lampard.

Zelem joined new Serie A side Juventus 12 months ago and won the Serie A title in a tense playoff against rivals Brescia before announcing her departure from the new Italian champions. Zelem has also played at every level for England up to the U-23s and will undoubtedly be chipping in with goals from midfield for United this season.

 

Lauren James

Position: Winger/Attacking midfield
Age: 16 (09/29/2001)
Nationality: English (U-17 international)
Prior Club: Arsenal

The youngest member of Casey Stoney’s squad and perhaps one of the players with the highest talent ceiling.

The flying winger and prolific goal scorer was a relative unknown 12 months ago but the 16-year-old made her Arsenal debut just a week after turning 16 and scored her first goal in a cup match against Millwall in November 2017.

It’s a surprise to see Arsenal lose such a talented young player and one who is certainly worth keeping an eye on given her recent England U-17 form. James scored four goals in one game against Latvia last October and followed it up with two more goals days later Slovakia, sharing the latter honor with new teammate Ebony Salmon.

 

Charlie Devlin

Position: Attacking midfield
Age: 20 (02/23/1998)
Nationality: English (U-20 international)
Signed from: Millwall
Previous Clubs: Arsenal

Former Arsenal youngster Charlie Devlin could certainly be one to wow the crowds in Manchester this season. The silky forward is skillful and superb on the ball and also has an eye for goal.

Devlin’s talent was such that she signed a professional deal with Arsenal after turning 18 in 2016 before a loan spell at Millwall during the 2017 Spring Series. She scored on her debut versus Everton before scoring a sumptuous chip against London Bees the game after.

Devlin joined the Lionesses on a permanent deal for the 2017/18 season and was the fifth top scorer in the league, behind only four other players including new teammates Kirsty Hanson and Jess Sigsworth, meaning Casey Stoney has three of the top five scorers in last season’s second division at her disposal.

 

Mollie Green

Position: Attacking midfield/Center midfield
Age: 20 (08/04/1997)
Nationality: English (Previous U-19 international)
Prior Club: Everton
Previous Clubs: Liverpool

Mollie Green can play a number of different positions across midfield and attack and will be looking for things to click for her after a frustrating spell at Everton. Green was originally at Liverpool after joining the club in 2014 as a teenager, progressing briefly into the first team before moving across Merseyside to Everton.

Her first goal for the club against London Bees helped Everton clinch the 2017 Spring Series title before Everton were promoted to FA WSL 1 in place of Notts County. Green had a quiet season moving around the pitch, playing on both wings, as a forward and in a deeper midfield role and left the club shortly after scoring two goals in an impressive display against Yeovil.

An undoubtedly versatile player, Green could prove to be a handy member of Casey Stoney’s squad if she gets a run of games.

 

Ella Toone

Position: Left winger/Striker
Age: 18 (09/02/1999)
Nationality: English (U-20 international)
Prior Club: Manchester City
Previous Clubs: Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers

Ella Toone appeared to be one of Manchester City’s bright young stars before the forward took the decision to move on in pursuit of first-team football at the end of the 2017/18 season. Playing for Manchester United as a child, Toone joined the Blackburn Centre of Excellence, where she remained until Manchester City signed her in 2016.

She returned to Blackburn on loan and had a superb season, scoring goal after goal, many of them spectacular, in a successful season for both her and the club before returning to the Etihad Campus. Toone saw chances limited at City but did play in the club’s penultimate home game of the season before taking the decision to return to United.

Predominantly right-footed but able to play from the left or up front, Toone’s talent ceiling is sky high and should be an exciting player to watch develop at United.

 

Kirsty Hanson

Position: Left Winger
Age20 (04/17/1998)
Nationality: Scottish (U-19 international)
Prior Club: Doncaster Rovers Belles
Previous Clubs: Manchester United, Liverpool, Sheffield FC

Kirsty Hanson is the final former Manchester United graduate to return to the club for the 2018-19 campaign. Like many, the flying winger left the club at 16 and moved to Liverpool but spent a chunk of the 2016 season with FA WSL 2 side Sheffield FC, where she struggled for consistency.

But a move to Doncaster Belles at the start of last season really brought about Hanson’s talents as a player; 10 goals, beaten only by teammate Jess Sigsworth and Sheffield’s Mel Johnson, helped the Belles seal the FA WSL 2 title with games to spare, and the forward also has an impressive scoring rate at U-19 level in Scotland.

Once again uniting with former Belles teammate Sigsworth, Hanson will be a menace for fullbacks with pace and trickery out wide.

 

Leah Galton

Position: Winger
Age: 24 (05/24/1994)
Nationality: English (Previous U-23 international)
Prior Club: FC Bayern Munich
Previous Clubs: Leeds United, Hofstra Pride, Sky Blue FC

Potentially the most intriguing signing for Manchester United is that of winger Leah Galton. The Harrogate-born player has spent a large chunk of her career abroad and hasn’t played in England since leaving her first club, Leeds United, in 2012.

Galton spent three years at Hofstra University in the United States before being snapped up by Sky Blue FC in the second round of the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft. Galton’s good early form saw her called up to a training camp by then England head coach Mark Sampson but sadly injury ensured Galton never made it back to England for the camp.

The winger joined Bayern Munich in Germany’s Frauen-Bundesliga in December last year but just a few months into her spell she announced she would take a break from football indefinitely. Now Galton is back and if she returns to the previous form she’s capable of, she has every chance of being a big star for Manchester United.

Forwards

Ebony Salmon

Position: Striker
Age: 17 (01/27/2001)
Nationality: English (U-17 international)
Prior Club: Aston Villa

Striker Ebony Salmon burst onto the scene last season as a relative unknown after spending three seasons in Aston Villa’s academy side.

But Salmon scored 7 goals in just 12 appearances in FA WSL 2 last season, bringing her talent out of the shadows and announcing herself as one of the top talents in the country. Salmon showed her undoubted potential by scoring two goals in a valiant FA Cup defeat against top-tier side Sunderland and was also in good form for the England U-17 side.

With all the attributes to be a top-class No. 9, Salmon will perhaps play deputy at times this season but will put plenty of pressure on FA WSL 2 Golden Boot winner Jess Sigsworth.

 

Jess Sigsworth

Position: Striker
Age: 23 (10/13/1994)
Nationality: English (Previous U-23 international)
Prior Club: Doncaster Rovers Belles
Previous Clubs: Sheffield United, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Notts County

At 23, Jess Sigsworth is positively one of the elder statesman of Manchester United’s attack this season and she’s been snapped up by Casey Stoney with good reason.

Sigsworth won the Golden Boot in FA WSL 2 last season with 16 goals — four more than anyone else — as Doncaster Belles won the title by 10 points, forming a deadly partnership with now United teammate Kirsty Hanson.

The striker deserves everything she got last season after fighting back from an ACL injury which ended her 2016 season prematurely and missed the Spring Series and the start of the 2017/18 season.

If she strikes up an instant partnership with her new teammates at United there’s no reason to think she won’t be top scorer in the league again this season.

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