In the current footballing spectrum, wingers are without a doubt the most exciting players to watch on the ball – whether they operate on the left or the right wing. The best of the best are renowned for their ability to bamboozle fullbacks with their change of pace and bags of trickery. While some are goal-scorers, others specialise in creating goal-scoring opportunities for their teammates.
Thus, keeping all these things in mind, in this article I have listed out my top ranked right-sided wingers in women’s football over the last calendar year.
#10 Athenea del Castillo
22 years old • Spain • Real Madrid Femeníno
Although the 22-year-old is part of this right-winger’s list, arriving at this conclusion wasn’t as straightforward as it seems, partly due to del Castillo’s ability to excel anywhere across the front three positions as well as the #10 position. Besides, she has emerged as one of the stand-out players for Real Madrid, with her direct style of play proving particularly difficult for defenders to deal with this season.
Furthermore, it was the Spaniard’s performances at the Women’s Euros last summer that thrust her into the spotlight – particularly her scintillating performance against eventual champions England in the quarter-finals, where she provided the assist for Esther González’ opener for Spain. This season, too, she has been pivotal to Real Madrid’s passage into the UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) group stages, while she already has three goals and two assists from 12 league appearances.
#9 Tabea Waßmuth
26 years old • Germany • VfL Wolfsburg
The 2021/22 season was, without a shadow of a doubt, Tabea Waßmuth’s most prolific season in terms of goals and assists. The 26-year-old Germany international scored 23 goals and provided 8 assists in 31 games across all competitions. What’s more impressive is that she started only 25 of those games. Especially in the UWCL, Waßmuth was a nuisance as she scored four goals in the two games against Chelsea, knocking the 2020/21 UWCL finalists out in the group stages, while she also scored a brace in their semi-final second-leg win against Barça.
It is no surprise that Waßmuth has become one of the most fearsome attackers in world football, with her having been exhibiting her prolific scoring, turn of pace, and dribbling abilities since her Hoffenheim days. This season, too, she is averaging a goal contribution every 96 minutes, and although she and Wolfsburg couldn’t quite deliver on the European stage last season, their performance throughout the campaign did send a strong message across Europe, that they still are a team not to be messed with.
#8 Chloe Kelly
25 years old • England • Manchester City Women
Known for her blistering pace and on-ball technical qualities since her Arsenal and Everton days, it feels unfair to narrow down Chloe Kelly’s year to one moment. But, for someone who struggled so much with injuries since her ACL tear last year, the images of Kelly running around whipping her shirt over the head will go down in history as one of football’s most iconic moments. Although it wasn’t the prettiest of goals, it was still one of the biggest goals, one that ended 56 years of English hurt.
Since Kelly has spent more time on the injury table than on the pitch over the last year and a half, the best assessment of her performances and pedigree can only be made from her 2020/21 season – her first with Man City, where she scored 10 goals and provided 11 assists.
While Kelly still hasn’t quite hit the heights of two seasons ago, her recent performances show her slowly getting back to her best.
#7 Svenja Huth
32 years old • Germany • VfL Wolfsburg
A hitman down the right flank for both club and country over the years, there remain few as deadly as Svenja Huth in her position. After delivering two seasons worth 14 and 16 goal contributions respectively in the Frauen-Bundesliga, as well as registering 12 assists for Wolfsburg in the Champions League last season, Huth showed her exceptional pedigree for Germany at the Women’s Euros, where she played the anchor role in a team full of youngsters.
Although domestically she has been much quieter this season, scoring one goal and one assist in eight league games, Huth has still been one of the leading creative outlets in the UWCL this season, scoring one goal and providing three assists in five games. Coupled with her emerging as Germany’s best player during the Euros, 2022 was certainly Huth’s year.
#6 Fran Kirby
29 years old • England • Chelsea Women
Chelsea’s 29-year-old star might have gone under the radar due to her injury struggles in the lead-up to the Women’s Euros, but her crucial contributions throughout the tournament were enough to remind people what they missed in her absence. A fox inside the box, Kirby is someone who breaks teams open, picks defences apart, and poses questions from different angles.
Kirby’s unavailability in recent times has shown how important she can be for both club and country; both Emma Hayes and Sarina Wiegman would be the first to tell you that. Kirby scored 16 goals and 11 assists in 16 league games during the 2020/21 season, which are out-of-this-world numbers considering she only played 1,378 minutes of football in total. While her 2021/22 season was curtailed by prolonged injuries, in six league appearances this season, Kirby has already scored five goals and provided one assist, highlighting how crucial she can be even when just back from a long-term injury.
#5 Delphine Cascarino
25 years old • France • Olympique Lyonnais Féminin
Holding down the right-winger role for a good three years for arguably women’s football’s most successful team is no mean feat. Delphine Cascarino joined Lyon when she was just 12 years old. Having made her debut in 2015, she is already a six-time Champions League winner.
Cascarino is one of those old-fashioned wingers, galloping down the touchline and putting in a dangerous cross, or drifting inside and unleashing a wonder-goal, as she did against Italy during the Euros last summer.
On the individual front, Cascarino had another solid year for both club and country. Last season, she provided ten goal contributions across all competitions as Lyon sealed both the league and the UWCL titles emphatically. Now entering her peak years at 25, the France international is one to keep an eye on.
#4 Trinity Rodman
20 years old • USA • Washington Spirit
Daughter of basketball star Dennis Rodman, Trinity Rodman was the youngest player ever drafted when the Washington Spirit drafted her second. Then 18 years old, Rodman showed no signs of needing time as she helped the Spirit win their first-ever NWSL championship, produce six goals and five assists, including a goal in the semi-finals before setting up a goal in the final against the Chicago Red Stars.
Although the Washington Spirit had a difficult season in 2022, Rodman was their leading light, despite the team struggling for victories. With an abundance of pace and bags of trickery up her sleeves, Rodman still has a lot to offer despite being just 20 years old. However, within this short span of time, she has already made herself one of the key players for the US senior women’s national team ahead of the Women’s World Cup this summer. Overall, it was another productive year for Rodman, who deservedly also earned herself a Ballon d’Or nomination.
#3 Kadidiatou Diani
27 years old • France • Paris Saint-Germain Féminine
The 27-year-old French star had an outstanding 2022 even by her own standards, as she produced 13 goals and four assists in 18 league appearances and played a significant role in PSG reaching the semi-finals of the UWCL in 2021/22. Diani is a versatile player who can operate anywhere across the forward line, from effecting games out wide to being used as a false nine in the PSG setup.
The injury to France’s star Marie Antoinette Kototo two games into the Women’s Euros put a lot of pressure on Diani to step up and deliver, which she duly did. It has been a similar situation for her at the club level, where again she has taken to the new role with aplomb. With the career-best league season accounting for 13 goals across the last three to four seasons, Diani has already scored 10 goals and provided three assists in 12 league appearances thus far.
#2 Caroline Graham Hansen
27 years old • Norway • Barcelona Femení
Barça’s Norwegian star Caroline Graham Hansen was one of the few bright spots for her side’s UWCL final loss to Lyon. It was telling that the Blaugrana’s only goal came from one of the few moments where Hansen managed to wriggle away from the Lyon fullback Selma Bacha.
One of the most pleasing technical players to watch on the pitch, Hansen is a threat when it comes to scoring goals and creating chances for her teammates. The ease with which she can skip past opposition defenders sets her apart from most wingers in the game.
Although on the international stage it was a struggle for both Hansen and Norway as they narrowly made it out of the group stages before getting knocked out in the following round at the Euros last summer, for her club, Hansen’s 13 league assists as well as her contribution in the UWCL helped Barça enjoy another trophy-laden season.
#1 Beth Mead
27 years old • England • Arsenal Women
Beth Mead was rampant throughout the year 2022. After getting dropped from the Great Britain Olympic team in 2021 due to poor form, she went on a crazy run of form for both club and country. Mead produced 11 goals and eight assists in the FA Women’s Super League last season, matching her best-ever league campaign in five years, while her 20 goals and 17 assists from 19 international games broke Jimmy Greaves’ record for most goal contributions in a single season for country.
Mead scored crucial goals against Austria, Norway and Sweden for England during the Euros, which helped her win both the Golden Boot as well as the Player of the Tournament awards. Her performances last year led to her finishing second in the 2022 Ballon d’Or list as well as the UEFA Player of the Year award, behind Alexia Putellas. Unfortunately, Mead suffered an ACL injury early in November 2022 and is now facing a race against time to be fit for the Women’s World Cup later this year.
RANKED! – Top 10 central midfielders in women’s football
RANKED! – Top 10 best women’s club football teams in the world right now
RANKED! – Top 10 right-backs in women’s football
RANKED! – Top 10 left-backs in women’s football right now
RANKED! – Top 10 centre-backs in women’s football right now
RANKED! – Top 10 goalkeepers in women’s football right now