View: Aston Villa women would be foolish not to make Kirsty Hanson loan signing a permanent deal
After struggling to acclimatise to Aston Villa in the early stages of the season, Kirsty Hanson has recently picked up the goalscoring bug with a string of brilliant performances for Carla Ward’s side.
The winger has now recorded four goals and six assists since making her loan move from Manchester United in the summer, but considering she didn’t get her goal account underway until scoring Sheffield United in mid-December, it is made to look all the more impressive.
After struggling for creativity in attack over the last 18 months, Hanson has quickly become a dependable player on the left flank of Villa’s attack and, as such, should be offered the chance to make her stay in the West Midlands permanent in the summer.
On the return from the mid-season break, Hanson got off to a rapid start with a pair of assists in the 2-1 win over Spurs before producing a quite staggering performance against Brighton last time out.
Although Ward’s whole team clicked into fifth gear during the 6-2 rout of Brighton, it was Hanson who was the architect of several stunning moves.
In the first half alone, the 24-year-old got her name on the scoresheet as well as providing a further three goals with her direct running and pin-point passing from the left flank. Her growing involvement in Villa’s build-up is a credit to Ward and her hands-on management style.
After a tough start to the WSL season following her summer loan move, Hanson admitted on the 90min Talks podcast (24 December) she had placed too much pressure on herself to impress at her new club and meet her lofty expectations.
It was clear for all to see that the attacker was trying to force passes and opening in the final third, but ever since the New Year, the floodgates have opened.
Whether Ward had a quiet word with Hanson is unknown, but whatever she said to the Scotland international has worked a treat. Villa would be foolish not to attempt to sign Hanson at the end of the season, and at 24 years of age, there’s still plenty of improvement to come.
In other Aston Villa news, Dan Bardell believes one player may hit a crossroads in the summer with his future still in doubt.