Manchester United defender Maya Le Tissier is on the radar of England manager Sarina Wiegman, despite missing out on the Lionesses squad for upcoming internationals, and stands a chance of going to the World Cup next summer if she continues her excellent start to the new WSL season.
Le Tissier has been one of the WSL’s standout young talents over the last few years, playing every game for Brighton in each of the last two seasons.
Still only 20, she joined United during the summer and has already had a huge impact – a direct hand in half of the club’s six goals across two games – to quickly cement herself as a fan favourite.
Despite making her name as a right-back, United boss Marc Skinner has opted to use Le Tissier in the centre of his defence alongside the returning Millie Turner, keeping experience France international Aissatou Tounkara and former starter Maria Thorsidottir on the bench so far.
She wasn’t signed to score goals, but Le Tissier scored twice from corners in the first of United’s season opener against Reading earlier this month. Her defence splitting pass was also what gave Spanish winger Lucia Garcia the chance to give United the lead against West Ham last Sunday.
Le Tissier, capped at junior international level, didn’t get the call from the Lionesses as Manchester City’s Esme Morgan and West Ham’s Lucy Parker did. But despite the disappointment from United fans, Wiegman has at least shown by picking the likes of Morgan and Parker, as well Jess Park and Lauren James further up the pitch, that she doesn’t have favourites and there will be chances.
That much was also clear when Euro 2022 winners Nikita Parris, B*thany England and Lotte Wubben-Moy were left out this time for a lack of club minutes.
“Maya did very good,” Wiegman said when asked about the player’s omission. “It’s really nice that she scored but her main job is not scoring, it’s defending, it’s the build-up, she did very well but the other players did a little bit more.
“We are watching her. She’s in the under-23s, there are lots of very good players in the under-23s ready to come in and at the moment these are the players we picked.”
Le Tissier’s impact at club level has already been felt. Centre-back partner Turner has described her as ‘brilliant’ and a ‘breath of fresh air’, while manager Skinner has already stressed that his newest part will be playing a ‘key part’ for his team this season.
“She has forward-playing ability and can strike the ball really well. Her passing range is excellent. Her maturity and concentration…she has a lot of the tools,” Skinner said after the Reading game, keen to discuss more than just her two goals.
If Le Tissier continues to perform like this throughout the season for a team that already looks like a strong contender for a top three WSL finish, Wiegman will find it impossible to ignore her. With the World Cup already looming on the horizon 10 months down the road, the timing couldn’t be better.
For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!