Manchester United are keeping a close eye on the impressive performances of winger Kirsty Hanson during her loan at fellow WSL club Aston Villa.
Previously a key player for United – as highlighted by her WSL Player of the Month award in October 2019 – Hanson struggled for game time last season. That led to a loan move to Villa at the start of the campaign and she is thriving once more.
The Scotland international, who remains under contract at United until 2024 with an option until 2025, reached seven WSL assists for the season in her last outing – a 2-1 win over West Ham. That ties her with Ella Toone and Ona Batlle, with only Chelsea’s Guro Reiten (9) on more.
Hanson’s recent form has also been recognised with a nomination for the February edition of the PFA Vertu Motors WSL Fans’ Player of the Month award.
Back at her parent club, coach Charlotte Healy has been tasked with monitoring all of United’s loan players, which also includes Carrie Jones at Leicester and Ivana Ferreira Fuso at Bayer Leverkusen.
‘Kirky’, as Hanson is affectionately known, has been impressing and the fact that she is consistently proving herself with numbers to rival the best in the league will only strengthen her case to be re-integrated at United, where she was initially a youth team player in the Centre of Excellence.
Having fallen to the periphery, the 24-year-old was then a victim of renewed competition for attacking places last summer when four new forwards arrived in one transfer window. The reason for loaning her out was to secure the kind consistent playing time not available in Manchester.
With the squad as it is and United gunning to get into the Champions League for the first time, manager Marc Skinner regretfully admits that ‘not everybody can play’.
“When you have someone as young and promising as Kirky, you want her to go and play minutes – she’s getting those minutes [at Villa],” the United boss explained.
“The whole reason we sent Kirky out on loan was to get a viewpoint of her playing consistent games again. Our ability to give her consistent minutes at her age wasn’t right there. I’m really happy with her progression. But I’m not surprised [by it].”
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