Manchester City Women

Man City 2022/23 WSL season preview: How to watch, summer transfers & league prediction

Jamie Spencer
2022/23 WSL preview for Manchester City
2022/23 WSL preview for Manchester City / 90min

Manchester City face a new kind of challenge in the WSL this season. The squad has been through significant changes since a relentless winning surge in the second half of 2021/22 earned them a top three spot and Champions League qualification at the expense of Manchester United.

City have already been knocked out of the Champions League when Caroline Weir came back to bite them for new club Real Madrid, although it could eventually serve as a blessing in disguise if it means the opportunity to get things right in the WSL in potentially difficult circumstances.

Here's 90min's preview of the season ahead...

How to watch Man City Women on TV

Man City Women key players 2022/23

Star player

Even without the departure of a number of key players since the end of last season, Lauren Hemp would still be regarded as Manchester City's most important asset.

The winger, a four-time PFA Young Player of the Year, is still only 22 but has already firmly established herself as one of the WSL's very best and was the league's top scoring English player (10 goals) ahead of Euro 2022.

Fast, skilful and deceptively strong, Hemp is the epitome of a 'gets fans out of their seats' player, with her driving, slaloming runs a real trademark. Creative and adventurous, she has frequently found herself doubled up against in recent months - but this just leaves more space for her City teammates. Hemp will remain the best source of goals, whether scoring them herself or getting assists for others.

One to watch

Manchester City landed one of the most exciting young signings of the transfer window with the addition of 19-year-old Australian international Mary Fowler from Montpellier.

The technically gifted teenager was deployed in an advanced midfield role during City's Champions League qualifiers, and was first capped at senior level at the age of 15.

Man City Women manager

Gareth Taylor is going into his third season as Manchester City, having replaced Nick Cushing in the summer of 2020. The former City men's team forward, who played for the club between 1998 and 2001, already has more than a decade of service as a coach under his belt after first being recruited to develop young talent in 2011.

City won the Continental Cup under his guidance last season, beating Chelsea in the final, and lifted the FA Cup the previous season. Taylor is a big believer in passing, possession-based football, and this was heralded by many of City's new summer arrivals as their reason for signing.

Man City Women summer transfers


  • Deyna Castellanos (FW) - Atletico Madrid - details
  • Leila Ouahabi (DF) - Barcelona - details
  • Laia Aleixandri (DF) - Atletico Madrid - details
  • Mary Fowler (FW) - Montpellier - details
  • Sandy MacIver (GK) - Everton - details
  • Kerstin Casparij (DF) - Twente - details
  • Yui Hasegawa (MF) - West Ham - details


  • Karen Bardsley (GK) - retired - details
  • Georgia Stanway (MF) - Bayern Munich - details
  • Jill Scott (MF) - retired - details
  • Caroline Weir (MF) - Real Madrid - details
  • Karima Benameur Taieb (GK) - Marseille
  • Lucy Bronze (DF) - Barcelona - details
  • Jess Park (FW) - Everton - loan
  • Maria Francis-Jones (DF) - Sheffield United - loan
  • Ellen White (FW) - retired - details
  • Keira Walsh (MF) - Barcelona - details

There has been considerable turnover at Manchester City since the end of last season. Keira Walsh has been sold to Barcelona for a world record fee, while Georgia Stanway, Caroline Weir and Lucy Bronze have also left to try their hands in Europe, while Jill Scott and Ellen White have retired.

New signing Leila Ouahabi is a Champions League winner from Barcelona, while Deyna Castellanos and Laia Aleixandri also come highly rated from Spain. Sandy MacIver will add goalkeeping depth and Netherlands international Kerstin Casparij is a promising emerging full-back.

Man City Women WSL history

Manchester City were not a founder member of the WSL but have been one of its biggest clubs for almost all of the eight years since they joined the top flight in 2014 at the expense of Doncaster Rovers Belles.. City have only won one league title to date, back in 2016, but it isn't for a lack of trying after six second place finishes. Their third place finish in 2021/22 ended a run of four consecutive season as WSL runners-up.

2014: 5th
2015: 2nd
2016: 1st
2017 (Spring series): 2nd
2017/18: 2nd
2018/19: 2nd
2019/20: 2nd
2020/21: 2nd
2021/22: 3rd

Man City WSL prediction

The key for Manchester City is how quickly they can get over losing five key players in White, Walsh, Stanway, Weir and Brone, plus whether Taylor is able to gel the new signings into the squad. That may be easier said than done, especially with several having to first adapt to a new league.

City had a slow start last season because of injuries and it came close to costing them a place in the top three. With Manchester United strengthening, they may not get that opportunity if they start slowly again. This could be the hardest campaign yet for Taylor and his new look team and every single game will count.

Man City 2022/23 WSL prediction: 4th