Women's football: Chelsea boss Emma Hayes tips Ji So-Yun for more honours

Image: Ji So Yun: Tipped for further individual honours

Chelsea Ladies forward Ji So-Yun has all the makings of a future World Player of the Year, according to her club manager Emma Hayes.

The South Korea international enjoyed a fine debut season in England after joining Chelsea from Japanese side Kobe INAC Leonessa last year.

Ji was named Players’ Player of the Year by her fellow professionals after scoring nine goals in 19 appearances in all competitions last season.

And Chelsea boss Hayes insists the talented attacker, nicknamed the Korean Messi by fans in her homeland, has the potential to reach the pinnacle of women's football.

"She has only just scratched the surface," Hayes told Sky Sports.

"She is at the development age and still needs to improve her game defensively. I think she’s also got to get a little tougher in one v one battles and improve the speed of her decision-making.

"But in time I think she'll do all of that and as I’ve said before, I’m sure she'll be nominated for the World Player of the Year in her career.

"If she keeps working at it I wouldn’t be surprised if one day she is World Player of the Year."

Ji was the joint-highest assist maker in FA WSL 1 last season but Hayes insists the best is yet to come from the 23-year-old once she fully adapts to the rigours of English football.

"We’re looking forward to Ji returning and I'm sure she will bring the qualities that everybody saw last season," Hayes said.

"She is a fantastic young playmaker who has the ability to control a game and we expect that she will now have adjusted a little more to the physical style of play in England.

"I think other teams will be more aware of her but like all good players she finds a way to solve problems on the pitch. I think Ji will kick on and the world stage will see what a player she is come next summer at the World Cup."

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