By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

4th Oct, 2023 | 7:10am

Dan Bardell: Rachel Daly staying at Aston Villa Women 'massive' for European hopes

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Rachel Daly staying at Aston Villa Women this season is “massive” for the club, according to Dan Bardell.

The 31-year-old attacker took home the Women’s Super League Golden Boot last season with 22 goals, firing the Villans to a historic fifth-place finish and has got off the mark in the new season against Manchester United on Saturday (1 October) in a 2-1 defeat.

Villa have been shrewd in their additions this summer, including new goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar, but their success in keeping established stars like Daly could prove significant.

With Daly, Jordan Nobbs and Kirsty Hanson all committed to Villa for the new season, Bardell claims that the club should be looking to push for the Europen spots in the table.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “In the Women’s Super League, stability is an important thing. If you can keep hold of players, it’s almost more important than bringing people in. Villa have the core of a good team now as they’ve managed to retain players.

“Realistically, having Rachel Daly and holding onto her is a massive thing. She’s 31 years old now but she’s got a lot of time left in her. She was top scorer for a Villa side that finished fifth. If she was playing for a Chelsea or an Arsenal, she’d probably get 30 or 40 goals a season, she’s that good.

“But I’m more encouraged that they’ve managed to keep hold onto the likes of Hanson, they’ve still got Daly, Jordan Nobbs is a calming presence in the midfield.

“I like the look of what they’re doing and I honestly think they’ll have a really strong season. Looking to push for European qualification should be the aim with these players.”

In other Aston Villa news, an Aston Villa Women defender has been handed a club honour following the exit of one player.