Even if Barcelona doubt that they paid a world record fee to Keira Walsh, the English playmaker undoubtedly now has the profile he deserves.
Here’s what’s good about the new Barcelona girl…
Who is this then?
Keira Fae Walsh is a creative 25-year-old 5’6″ midfielder from Rochdale. I played for Manchester City for eight years and just signed for Barcelona for a world record fee of £400,000. She is currently the most expensive football player to walk the earth.
It all started for her playing for the Blackburn Rovers Girls’ Youth Teams 12-17 years old, winning the Blackburn Rovers Girls’ Center Overall Achievement Cup and the Blackburn Rovers Girls’ Center International Recognition Award in 2010 as the sprinter. -up in the Youth Cup.
An athletic child, she ranked first in Greater Manchester in under-13 badminton but football was her priority, and at the age of 17 she signed with Manchester City. A lifelong City fan, along with the rest of her family, she would play for eight seasons as of 2014, winning one Super League, three FA Cups and four League Cups, playing in 211 games and scoring nine goals.
In 2017, she grabbed her first title with England and now, after the 10-0 win over Luxembourg, has 50 to her name, along with the SheBelieves and Arnold Clark Cups and of course this summer’s Euro Winners’ Medal.
She has become an indispensable part of the England team, and like others, she credits Sarina Wiegman for giving her the confidence to play her own game and express herself. After being criticized during the 2019 World Cup where England reached the semi-finals only to be defeated by the United States with a strange goal, she sought help from a sports psychologist. In fact, the entire team needed to rebuild after Seely Bailey Philly left for Inter Miami. It’s safe to say that this happened under Wegman and then some. They have not lost a match yet and qualified for next summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with an impressive record of playing 10 matches; won 10; 80 for; zero against.
When it comes to playing in England, she is on a team of big personalities, many of whom are more famous, or at least remarkably familiar than Keira. But not without reason she won the MVP (what’s wrong with the Woman of the Match, if we’re holding the MVP title?) in her victory over Germany in the European Championship final.
She is literally the pivotal player on the team, someone with the vision and ability to create defense-splitting passes like the great ball to Ella Toone for England’s first goal in that glorious match.
England are much less effective when they are not playing or, as in the match against Spain this summer, they are left out of the game.
She appears to be a lightness figure, looking for 10 wet stones but not underestimating her strength or grit. She can block the defense in this double pivot role very effectively, making blocks and pressure to recover the ball.
She may not have the physical presence of Lucy Bronze, Millie Bright, or pivotal friend Georgia Stanway, but that’s not her game. All the magic she needs to be one of the best in the world lies at her feet.
She reminds me of Declan Rice in the way and where she plays, she can be a defensive midfielder who plays at the top of a defensive third, breaks play, but once she gets the ball, she can turn into a playmaker, you look at that wrecking ball, she moves through Two-thirds as you do it.
However, he’s a position she needs confidence to play, and it’s easy to see how Wiegman gave her the confidence to play with her head held high, in doing so transforming her from a good player into a great player.
Three great moments
Perfectly weighted pass to Ella Tone…
Didn’t score much but this is Peledy River…
Well, when your local bus company named Rochdale the Rossendale Bus after you, you know you made it. Her departure from the city with Lucy Bronze, also to Barcelona, Caroline Weir to Real Madrid and Georgia Stanway to Bayern Munich reflects the changing times in women’s football, especially at City. He thought the WSL would attract the best players to it, but that’s not the whole story at the moment with City failing to qualify for the Champions League, Stanway suggesting the team needs a serious restart, and playing in Europe looks a long way off. A more viable path to success.
Keira will have to fight for her place when Alexia Putellas finally recovers from her ACL injury, but a team with both players on the field will take a few hits. With the World Cup, then the Olympics followed by another Euro, all from now until 2025, there will be no shortage of exposure to Keira, at least next month when England face the United States in front of an out-of-the-box Wembley crowd. At 25, the peak years of her career began and it’s no coincidence that England broke Hoodoo semi-finals in recent years at this time. Like the entire England team that has given us so much happiness, and made us feel so good, she seems to wear that fact very lightly, and her teammates are eager to use it and their success in forcing schools to give. Girls play soccer as well as boys. That figure is just 63 percent, which is a stigma and shows how ingrained sexual, mobile, and narrow-minded attitudes towards girls playing football are. This needs to be changed and done quickly. It is simply very unfair and should be illegal.
I think history will judge this period as a truism of making a fairer world of football for women and girls, and “Wonder Walsh” will be a major part of that story. Bad ney for the girl from Rochdale.