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How Maya Le Tissier is an example for prospective Man Utd signings

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Manchester United is a tough team to get into right now. Marc Skinner is presiding over the most settled team in the WSL and has used only 20 players in the league so far this season.

Rightly or wrongly, it has drawn criticism given that a number of international players are struggling to get a look in. United’s high-powered attack has also tailed off since a 6-0 rout of Liverpool in mid-January fuelling suggestions that an injection of freshness could be beneficial.

New signing Lisa Naalsund briefly expressed concerns over a potential lack of playing time before penning a three and a half year contract anyway, while Vilde Boe Risa and Aissatou Tounkara have both suffered an international snub this season as a direct result of limited club minutes.

Adriana Leon is another player fans might have expected to see more of and garnered interest during the recent transfer window. Skinner’s explanation for her absence from the matchday squad against Everton was pure competition and still adapting to a different way of playing than she was used to at former club West Ham. Nailing the style has been a factor for Boe Risa too, with the boss previously suggesting that the defensive side of her game specifically still needs work.

Skinner has been working hard to implement his own philosophy since being appointed in July 2021 and trusts his process. The improvement has been there to see, with better results, a new mentality and greater confidence pushing the Red Devils well into the Champions League hunt.

But while some have arrived at United and struggled for chances, Nikita Parris, Lucia Garcia and Rachel Williams have all had roles to play so far. But the biggest success story is Maya Le Tissier, who has shown it is possible to come into the club and very quickly be a regular in Skinner’s team.

Le Tissier has played all but five minutes across the first 12 WSL games of the season, contributing massively to a defence that has conceded only six times, kept nine clean sheets and not given up a single goal against anyone outside the established top four.

The newly crowned Channel Islands Sports Personality of the Year for 2022 has played her way into the senior England setup as a result, called up for successive squads by Lionesses coach Sarina Wiegman in November and now February.

Skinner has long sung Le Tissier’s praises, often highlighting her character and maturity for a player of just 20 – and his week calling her a ‘unique individual’.

“She has been playing in the league consistently for a long time from a young age. She fits our age modelling of growth for the future and the experience she gets with us now – she’s only 12 [WSL] games in – but we should be excited,” Skinner said.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter!

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