WSL: Top five summer signings

The Essential Football Podcast team analyse who's made the strongest impression so far this season.

WSL transfers

Almost a third of the WSL season has passed so we posed the question - who has been the best signing of the season so far?

That's the task the team on the Sky Sports Essential Football Podcast tried to tackle, with host Charlotte Marsh, Sky Sports commentator Seb Hutchinson and Sky Sports News' Anton Toloui selecting a top five.

There were almost 90 deals completed before the 2021/22 season began. Get in touch with @SkySportsWSL to send us your thoughts, reactions and anyone that should have made the list.

1) Frida Maanum (Arsenal)

Anton Toloui: "The No 1 has to be from Arsenal. There were bigger names they signed this summer but Tobin Heath, Mana Iwabuchi and Nikita Parris have all been rotated.

Frida Maanum

"Maanum has played every WSL game this season and she can do everything in midfield. We saw that incredible goal she scored against Everton. She's so important for Jonas Eidevall to bring in his philosophy to the team and she's literally at the centre of what he's trying to achieve."

Seb Hutchinson: "You see her on the pitch and she always stands out. She can cover the ground, she can pass well, she can shoot. I absolutely agree with you. Arsenal know they need to be consistent to hold Chelsea off and Maanum will be a big part of that."

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Charlotte Marsh: "It must be great to have players in midfield you know you don't have to worry about. As a manager there's so much you have to plan for and worry about so you need players like that."

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Highlights of the Women's Super League match between Tottenham and Arsenal

2) Molly Bartrip (Tottenham Hotspur)

AT: "Molly Bartrip and Shelina Zadorsky have already got one of the most consistent defensive partnerships in the WSL. 23 blocks and only six fouls given away, Bartrip's been brilliant. She's slotted into that system straight away and has been a magnificent signing."

Molly Bartrip

SH: "There's an argument to say Spurs have been the biggest performers of the season, to have only conceded five goals up to this point is just fantastic. So credit to Molly Bartrip, credit to Shelina Zadorsky, credit to the whole defence, credit to Rehanne Skinner. Credit, credit, credit".

3) Sarah Mayling (Aston Villa)

SH: "What do we expect from players when they're signed and have they exceeded expectations?

"These are exactly the signings clubs should be making and Villa have been very smart. It's glorious when you mix them with experienced players like Anita Asante, Villa are really going places."

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Highlights of the Women's Super League match between Birmingham and Aston Villa

AT: "You could have picked a lot of other names at Villa. Remi Allen, Hannah Hampton or the human highlight reel that is Maz Pacheco but I've gone with Mayling."

CM: "And Sarah Mayling can score a wicked freekick. At times that's all we care about."

4) Deanne Rose (Reading)

Deanne Rose

AT: "Rose has been brilliant in the last few weeks offering creativity, versatility and a spark. But also, she's not just an Olympic gold medallist, this is Rose's first ever season as a professional player after coming through the system at Florida State.

"For her to be achieving what she is, especially after winning gold, makes me feel futile as a human being."

5) Aoife Mannion (Manchester United)

Aoife Mannion

AT: "It's a good job United signed Aoife Mannion, especially after the nasty knee injury to Millie Turner. Mannion offers the consistency and solidity the team needed and she's worked with Marc Skinner before so is perfect for his system. How close is she to an England call-up?"

SH: "Mannion perfectly fits the style Sarina Wiegman is trying to build with England, she loves to play from the back. Her and Hannah Blundell has surpassed expectation this season."

AT: "When Abby Dahlkemper left Manchester City they were short at centre-back. I wonder how much they're missing her now."

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Highlights of the Women's Super League match between Everton and Manchester United
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