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RANKED! – Top 10 central midfielders in women’s football

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6 mins read
RANKED! - Top 10 Central Midfielders In Women’s Football

The role of a central midfielder in the women’s game has evolved quite a lot over the last decade. While their functions and duties can be highly dependent on how a team prepare and like to play, most of the players in this list tick almost every box required to be an outstanding central midfielder.

These players excel at going in for a meaty tackle, dictating games, creating goal-scoring opportunities, and finding the back of the net themselves when need be.

So, without further ado, I present to you my top 10 female central midfielders in the world right now.

Also read: RANKED! – Top 10 Right-Backs In Women’s Football 

#10 Amandine Henry

33 years old • France • Olympique Lyonnais Féminin

Top 10 Central Midfielders In Women’s Football - Amandine Henry

Amandine Henry didn’t quite have the prolific calendar year that she has become so accustomed to in recent years. The 33-year-old was rather inconsistent throughout the year. However, given her ability to step up when the chips are down, she played some vital roles during the crunch moments of the 2021/22 season. Most notably, in the biggest game of the season, the UEFA Women’s Champions League final, the France international scored a stunner to open the scoring for Lyon. Besides, her impressive performances during Lyon’s 2021/22 UWCL-winning run also earned her a spot in UEFA’s Team of the Season.

Henry was left disappointed, however, after getting omitted from the French squad that reached the Women’s Euros semi-final last summer. Besides, recurring injuries meant she was sidelined for much of the first half of this season. Hence, a fit and ready Henry will be crucial for Lyon to retain their league and European titles this season.

#9 Caroline Weir

27 years old • Scotland • Real Madrid Femenino

Top 10 Central Midfielders In Women’s Football
#9 Caroline Weir

The Scotland international has quickly gone on to become one of the most enjoyable footballers to watch over the last year, and her continuous development on the pitch has earned her a big-money move to Real Madrid. The 27-year-old ended last campaign with her former club Manchester City, bagging six goals and five assists, including a memorable goal in the Manchester derby.

Besides, Weir has wasted no time in getting used to the pace of the Spanish league and has hit the ground running with five goals and five assists in 10 league appearances, while also scoring twice in Las Blancas‘ UWCL group-stage run this season. It has been really impressive how quickly Weir has been able to make an impact in Spain, all the while exhibiting her skill, talent and eye for goal.

#8 Manuela Guigliano

25 years old • Italy • Roma Femminile

#8 Manuela Guigliano

The 25-year-old Italian has been one of the key cogs in Roma’s push for a league title this season. Guigliano is a complete box-to-box midfielder who dictates play, makes things happen, and also jumps in for those meaty tackles. It is fascinating how some of Europe’s top clubs haven’t poached her off the Giallorosse hands yet. However, given her level of performance and leadership on the pitch, it doesn’t look out of sight.

Last season, Guigliano scored four goals and added five assists as Roma finished second and qualified for the UWCL qualification phase. This season, she already has six goals and three assists in 16 games across all competitions, emerging as a stand-out player, especially during Roma’s Champions League group stage fixtures.

#7 Kim Little

32 years old • Scotland • Arsenal Women

Top 10 Central Midfielders In Women’s Football
#7 Kim Little

Given Arsenal’s depth in midfield, it might feel that Kim Little’s recent absence with injury hasn’t been a major disruption. However, given her level of performance since the 2021/22 season, it’s not that easy to look past her. The 32-year-old Scot is a tireless operator in the middle of the pitch for the Gunners, and despite age catching up to her, she simply remains timeless.

One of the best players to watch on the ball, displaying ease and effortlessness in controlling games, Little was nominated for the PFA Player of the Year at the end of last season, and with her getting close to full fitness, she and her club will be hoping she gets back in time for the start of the second half of the season.

#6 Lindsey Horan

28 years old • USA • Olympique Lyonnais Féminin

Top 10 Central Midfielders In Women’s Football

Lindsey Horan

Lindsey Horan took a different kind of challenge last year when she joined French champions Lyon on a season-long loan from the Portland Thorns. And by the look of things, it appears the 28-year-old has passed the test with flying colours. The US international was influential for Lyon, adding her box-to-box qualities to a side that resulted in her scoring goals both in the league and in Europe.

Horan is already averaging one goal contribution every two games this season, having scored six goals and added two assists across all competitions. Moreover, for her national team, she remains as influential as ever, even if she’s asked to play a bit deeper.

#5 Lina Magull

28 years old • Germany • Bayern Munich Frauen

Top 10 Central Midfielders In Women’s Football
#5 Lina Magull

Few players in world football have mastered the art of popping up late in the box to score a goal to the tee; Lina Magull is one of those. Playing at the peak of her career, the 28-year-old was one German who didn’t deserve to end up on the losing side in the Euros final. She was the one who rallied it back to 1-1 and has so often been the driving force in midfield for both club and country.

Magull has been one of the most consistent players over the last couple of seasons, providing 20 goal contributions from 48 league games. More recently, she was arguably the best player on the pitch when Bayern Munich overrun Barcelona 3-1 at home.

#4 Georgia Stanway

24 years old • England • Bayern Munich Frauen

#4 Georgia Stanway

After spending six seasons at her childhood club Manchester City, it seemed like Georgia Stanway’s career was approaching somewhat of a crossroads in 2022 as the 24-year-old was fighting to cement herself as one of the key players in the dressing room. In the end, Stanway announced her move to German giants Bayern Munich before the Women’s Euros last summer.

Stanway is tenacious, and her playing style is aggressive by nature. However, it is also evidently clear that she possesses the tools for being a hard-hitting counter-presser with excellent on-ball qualities. She was a stand-out player for Sarina Wiegman’s England side. The defensive switch for Leah Williamson meant Stanway started most games in midfield, where she dominated and was the driving force behind England’s Euros triumph.

#3 Grace Geyoro

25 years old • France • Paris Saint-Germain Féminine

#3 Grace Geyoro

The 25-year-old Congo-born star midfielder has had a stunning 2022, from starring against Italy in the Euros with her 45-minute hattrick for France to producing six goal contributions in 11 league games as PSG lead Lyon at the halfway point of the season. However, putting goals and assists aside, Geyoro’s other facets are equally important, if not more, because of which she was in high demand and subject to interest that could’ve seen her move clubs for a world-record fee.

However, Geyoro decided to stay put, having been nominated for the Player of the Year award as well as getting included in the Team of the Season. Currently one of the most in-demand and complete midfielders in women’s games, one can only expect the Frenchwoman to go upwards from here.

#2 Aitana Bonmatí

24 years old • Spain • Barcelona Femeníno

Top 10 Central Midfielders In Women’s Football
#2 Aitana Bonmatí

Approaching her peak years, Aitana Bonmatí’s gradual rise to become one of the best players in the world has been one that was always highly thought of and was only a matter of when. However, it would also be unfair to say Bonmatí has only stepped up her game in the absence of Alexia Putellas, because there’s every argument to suggest that she was always going to reach this level anyway.

In Putellas’ absence, Bonmatí helped drag her national side through the Euros and almost knocked out eventual champions England in the quarter-finals. A creator-in-chief capable of dictating even the biggest of games, at just 24, the best is yet to come from this Spanish magician.

#1 Alexia Putellas

28 years old • Spain • Barcelona Femeníno

Top 10 Central Midfielders In Women’s Football
#1 Alexia Putellas

The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner didn’t quite have the calendar year like her triumphant 2021. The 28-year-old ended the 2021/22 league campaign with 18 goals and 15 assists, while also being the top scorer for her club during their UWCL run where Barça lost to Lyon in the final. However, a cruel ACL injury on the eve of the Euros meant that Putellas not only missed the biggest competition during her peak years but also ended her year prematurely.

A technically-gifted player who plays as the left-sided attacking midfielder for both club and country, Putellas acts as the link between the defensive and attacking lines. She’s calm and confident in possession and someone who creates and also gets into positions to score. Hence, despite being unavailable for much of this season, it is very hard to look past Putellas for this #1 spot.

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