31. Jordan Nobbs
After a year or two that was disrupted by constant niggling injuries, Jordan Nobbs returned to top form in 2017 as the attacking midfielder enters the peak years of her career.
The 24-year-old was thought of highly enough to take on the role of England vice-captain under Mark Sampson, and Nobbs has an argument that she could have been voted her national team’s player of the year.
The Spring Series showed Nobbs at her best as Arsenal went unbeaten, the former Sunderland player ending up with two goals nominated for best of the season, including a stunning free-kick which ended Manchester City’s unbeaten run.
Nobbs has always had a penchant for the spectacular, and outside of London, Nobbs scored from outside the box against France in the SheBelieves Cup, before adding a long-range effort against Switzerland and a sweet volley against Scotland in England’s opening Euro 2017 match.
Despite playing out of position, Nobbs was one of England’s most influential players during their run to the semi-finals, and her form has continued into the new season with Arsenal.
Jen O’Neill, SheKicks editor and women’s football writer says:
“2017 saw Jordan Nobbs flourish, as she was released from the more defensive, holding role often required of her for England and deployed on the right or in the centre of midfield. For club and country, she is so regularly the catalyst in sparking attacking play and creates a host of chances and goals for team mates – Jordan was integral to most of Jodie Taylor’s goals this year. She can see and sense openings in a game and her boundless energy and fantastic balance, control and ability to strike the ball means she so often makes the most of them. Part of the beating heart of Arsenal and England, and with another injury-free behind her, we could see even more from her in 2018.
Mick Mulhern, Nobbs’ former manager at Sunderland says:
“Jordan Nobbs is one of the best players I’ve ever seen technically. She’s a live wire who is constantly thinking and on the move. This makes her very elusive and once within 40 yards of goal she can pick the right pass the majority of the time to hurt an opponent. Add to that Jordan can also finish from distance and you have the perfect attacking midfield player. Many years ago I predicted Jordan would captain England. I think she has done that in Steph’s absence and she is an ideal vice captain. Once again I’d say that Jordan is one of the best around and if I was picking a world XI I’d want her in the team along with one or two other England senior players I’ve coached previously.”