Recently, Esther Gonzalez signed with NJ/NY Gotham FC, and both Manchester City and United may regret not signing her.
Both Manchester United and Manchester City lost out on a World Cup-winning, dogged, successful center forward.
Despite the fact that the Women’s World Cup headlines may have been taken by Jenni Hermoso, Salma Paralluelo, and Olga Carmona, Esther Gonzalez’s role in the victory should not be overlooked.
Shortly before she traveled for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the 30-year-old’s departure from Real Madrid was announced; as a result, she was a free agent throughout the competition. Gonzalez played in five of the seven games at her debut World Cup, scoring just once but often challenging Hermoso and showcasing her talents on a global stage.
Manchester didn’t pay attention, too. Considering that both teams could use a potent striker, this is remarkable.
Gonzalez can stop the momentum of the opponent, making him a threat to defenders. Despite having made some important additions following the departures of Alessia Russo and Ona Batlle, United may still be inwardly licking their wounds.
The likes of Geyse, Ivana Fuso, and Martha Thomas can fill their Russo-shaped void. The aforementioned players don’t all have Champions League experience, and none of them are as tenacious as Gonzalez.
To be fair, Geyse, a former star for Barcelona, is extremely talented and will contribute a free-flowing, artistic, expressive style. Consider Gonzalez more like a Disney villain—strong and designed to succeed. They are both talented athletes, and their partnership would have been fantastic.
The Spaniard is still driven by success, and I worry that she might have given United something they don’t have right now. United finds it difficult to really energize the game when things aren’t going according to plan. Gonzalez, who made just 27 appearances and 19 starts for Real Madrid last season, would have added excitement to the team and isn’t short on talent with her 16 goals and four assists.
Who is pulling Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw to the other side of the city, though? And what if she sustains an injury? Gareth Taylor must seek help from whom?
In the World Cup, Mary Fowler proved her value by scoring twice and converting her penalty against France in the shootout. Although young, Jess Park is intriguing. Early in last season, Julie Blakstad tried her hand on the left wing, but once Lauren Hemp returned, she was completely ignored. Now that Jill Roord is involved, she can’t possibly be on the front lines.
City has a kind, in case you hadn’t noticed. They like players with speed, a desire for one-on-ones, and the ability to evade pressure. Gonzalez plays that.
She and Hemp and Chloe Kelly would have made the ideal flanking trio. Consider how all three forwards would touch and go, move quickly on the counter, and push relentlessly high up the field.
To be fair to Shaw, who has improved greatly since breaking out of Ellen White’s shadow, but she could certainly benefit from Gonzalez’s experience.
Gonzalez was a valuable player even as a replacement, since she might have energized the defense and given Shaw fresh opportunities to grow and learn.
free transfer.City haven’t changed things up very much this summer, which makes you wonder if they’re actually satisfied with their alternatives. If they are and Shaw has a rare off-day, then they only have themselves to blame.
Why not support a player who has the potential to have a significant influence, especially because there are already a good number of Spanish players in the locker room who can make her feel at home?
Watching a talent like Gonzalez transfer to the American NWSL is even more annoying for a fan of the beautiful game. She has a contract with NJ/NY Gotham FC, which means she will no longer be competing in the Champions League as she moves to a league with players who are just as quick and athletic but lack a tactical edge.
Gonzalez could have thrived in the Women’s Super League; it’s just too bad United and City didn’t share that opinion.