Manchester City star Lauren Hemp has retained her crown to be named 2021/22’s PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year.
The 21-year-old forward has claimed a record-breaking fourth title following another scintillating campaign at the Academy Stadium, in which Gareth Taylor’s side sealed the 2021/22 Women’s League Cup, beating Emma Hayes’ Chelsea 3-1 at Plough Lane back in March.
Hemp has now won the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year accolade on four separate occasions during her still fledging career, including the last three for City, as well as the 2017/18 version when she was turning out for Bristol City.
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Among the other names alongside the City star on the initial shortlist were Chelsea forward Lauren James, Arsenal all-rounder Frida Maanum, Tottenham’s Jessica Naz, Ella Toone of Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion defender Maya Le Tissier.
There was some controversy about James’ inclusion. Despite Chelsea’s sensational season, in which Emma Hayes’ side secured a FA Women’s Super League and Women’s FA Cup double, while the Blues also reached the FA Women’s League Cup final, James only played 107 minutes of football.
Elsewhere, Man Utd’s Toone can count herself unlucky after she finished as the top assist provider in the Women’s Super League (eight), while also ranking in the top 10 for most goals — striking seven times.
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Jessica Naz was also in the mix after her season in north London with Tottenham Hotspur. The Lilywhites finished a respectable fifth in the Women’s Super League and had a fine run to the Women’s League Cup semi-finals, where they lost out to Man City.
Frida Maanum also enjoyed a sensational maiden campaign for Arsenal following her move from Linkopings FC last summer. The Norway international was vital at Meadow Park as Jonas Eidevall’s Gunners missed out on the Women’s Super League title by one point.