46. Toni Duggan
Now one of the most recognisable names and faces in the women’s game, Toni Duggan bounced back in 2017 after a difficult year in 2016.
After hitting top form towards the end of 2015, Duggan struggled to return to her top form last year, but four goals in the Spring Series showed Duggan was somewhere near back to her best. Those four goals were made up of the winner against rivals Chelsea and a quick-fire hat-trick against Bristol City, before Duggan dropped the bombshell of all bombshells and shot herself into national headlines.
Just before England embarked on their Euro 2017, Duggan announced she would be leaving Manchester for Barcelona, a move which grabbed the attention of the mainstream media, Sky Sports News and the BBC.
Whilst not involved as much as she may have liked in the Netherlands, Duggan came off the bench to score England’s sixth against Scotland before bagging a deft lob when chosen to start against Portugal.
Life in Barcelona hasn’t started too badly, Duggan scored on both her La Liga and Champions League debut and it appears a move to Spain has revitalised one of England’s brightest talents.
Fran Sanchez Bas, FC Barcelona manager says:
“Toni is a player who is very comfortable inside the penalty box and has a good shot from anywhere in the attack. She also works very hard and helps the team defensively when we lose the ball.”
Rachel Brown, former team mate with Everton and England says:
“Toni has certainly made the right decision to go abroad, it suits her completely. It didn’t always quite work out 100% at Manchester City, she’s taken herself right out of her comfort zone. Moving to Manchester was a big step for Toni so to leave everything behind is a huge decision, but she knew she needed to do that to improve, but also wanted to do it to challenge herself.
“Toni always proves people wrong on the pitch, whatever the talk is, she does her talking on the pitch. She shows people what she can do and that is the best answer for any player. Her role with England has changed a little bit, she’s been sidelined at times a little bit by the return of Jodie Taylor and Fran Kirby and that would have probably been quite hard for Toni. But again, she showed what she can do on the pitch and when she was given a chance for England in the summer she took her chances.
Vicky Losada, Barcelona team mate says:
“Toni is so hard working for the team. She’s really quick but she’s also a very unselfish team mate.”
Lucy Ward, former footballer and BBC Sport pundit says:
“Toni is excellently positive whenever she plays. She is a goal scorer with a fantastic turn of pace, along with great game craft around the box Toni has the ability to be a game changer. Psychologically she is tough, willing to test herself out of her comfort zone, this will turn her into a world class player.”