Most Tottenham Hotspur players are still angry at the PFA for somehow overlooking a Player of the Season nomination for Son Heung-Min, but they should be happy about this one — Spurs Women wide forward Jessica Naz was nominated yesterday for the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Season award.
Naz, 20, was nominated along with Chelsea midfielder Lauren James, Manchester City attacker Lauren Hemp, Arsenal midfielder Frida Maanum, Manchester United attacking midfielder Ella Toone, and Brighton utility defender Maya Le Tissier.
Naz was a regular contributor for Spurs during the WSL season. She finished the season with two goals and three assists in 1180 minutes, with a npxG+xA/90 of 0.35, putting her fifth among all WSL players 22 and under with at least 900 minutes of game time this season. She was also a past England U19 international, though has yet to be called up to the U21s.
Realistically, this award is probably going to be awarded to Lauren Hemp, who had an outstanding season for City, tallying 10 goals and six assists in just over 1700 minutes. While Chelsea’s Sam Kerr was in a different league to everyone else, Hemp’s 10 goals put her fifth in the WSL in scoring this season, and her xpxG+xA/90 put her third behind Kerr and her Chelsea teammate Fran Kirby for players with more than 1000 minutes.
Still, the nomination is a recognition of the impact that Naz has had this season for Tottenham. While she (among the rest of the Spurs squad) struggled to convert chances, Naz’s pace allowed her to stretch opposition defenses this season. It’s not out of the question that with an upgrade to some of the players around her she could improve her stats significantly next season.