15. Jodie Taylor
After enduring a miserable 2016 thanks to a lengthy spell on the injury table, Jodie Taylor returned in 2017 and was an instant returnee to the England squad ahead of Euro 2017.
Two goals in her first game back at the end of 2016 were followed by another three at the start of 2017 as Taylor looked to return to top form ahead of the summer.
Taylor warmed up for Euro 2017 with a goal against Italy and another two against Switzerland, before she stole the show with an historic hat-trick in England’s opening match against Scotland.
Another goal against Spain and another historic goal to hit the winner against France left Taylor with the golden boot for the tournament and sent a reminder of what she can do when fully fit.
Taylor’s return to England though is over, with the striker set to join Seattle Reign for the start of the 2018 NWSL season.
Vlatko Andonovski, Seattle Reign manager says:
“Jodie is a true goal scorer, the timing and the angle on her runs are what makes her hard to mark. She has a great anticipation and is always in good position to score. I believe that she will be able to get behind the crosses from Pinoe next year.”
Rachel Brown, former England international says:
“I think Jodie is the best No.9 we’ve got. The England team has a great variety of attackers, they’re not replicas of the same player. Jodie can get in behind the defence, the timing of her runs is unparalleled and it puts her in position to score goals. She’s clinical, she’s a player who’s been and played in lots of different leagues and I think that’s why she’s such a clever player, she can read defences and play her game accordingly depending on who she’s up against.”
Jen O’Neill, SheKicks editor and women’s football writer says:
“Despite a relatively slow start to 2017 by her goal-scoring standards, Jodie Taylor increasingly built strength, fitness and form through the first part of the year and then peaked perfectly in the summer with a Golden Boot-winning showing at Euro 2017.
“Described on more than one occasion by former England head coach Mark Sampson as the ‘best number 9 in the world’, whether playing as a lone striker or paired with another forward, she defends brilliantly from the front and excels at playing off the last ‘man’, reading goalkeepers and providing the artful, killer finish. A bona fide match-winner.”