James on Women's Young Player of Year shortlist despite lack of action

Do the players care who they vote for?! Chelsea’s Lauren James is on PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year shortlist, despite playing just 107 minutes, in a stunning insight into stars’ voting habits

  • Lauren James has been nominated for PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year
  • The Chelsea striker only featured 12 times for Emma Hayes’ side last season
  • All six of James’ appearances in the Women’s Super League came off the bench
  • But the younger sister of men’s star Reece is one of this year’s six nominees
  • Man City’s Lauren Hemp and Tottenham’s Jessica Naz are also on the shortlist 

The PFA has revealed its six nominees for Women’s Young Player of the Year in 2022, with Chelsea’s Lauren James a bizarre inclusion after barely featuring last term.

James, who joined the Blues from Manchester United last summer, only made 12 appearances for Emma Hayes’ Super League champions in 2021/22 due to a series of fitness problems.

In their title-winning campaign, the 20-year-old striker was used just six times by Hayes for a total of 107 minutes, with all of those outings coming off the bench.

Chelsea striker Lauren James has been nominated for PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year

Lauren Hemp (Manchester City)

Lauren James (Chelsea)

Frida Maanum (Arsenal)

Jessica Naz (Tottenham)

Ella Toone (Manchester United)

Maya Le Tissier (Brighton)


She scored one goal, coming in a 9-0 thrashing of Leicester on March 27, but drew blank in her other 11 appearances in all competitions. 

Despite her lack of action and form, James, the younger sister of Chelsea men’s star Reece, has somehow earned a place on the shortlist for the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year award.

The prize is voted for by players, meaning she clearly made a great impression on her peers in just over an hour and 47 minutes of football last season.

As well as James, Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp, Arsenal’s Frida Maanum, Tottenham’s Jessica Naz, Manchester United’s Ella Toone and Brighton’s Maya Le Tissier have been nominated for the 2022 award.

City forward Hemp, 21, enjoyed a more satisfying campaign on the whole, scoring 10 goals in 22 Super League appearances.

Norwegian defender Maanum, 22, was an ever-present at the back for Arsenal, featuring 21 times last season, while Tottenham winger Naz, 21, was on hand with three goals and two assists in 16 outings.

James, 20, has been nominated despite only playing 107 minutes of league football last term

The younger sister of Chelsea men’s star Reece was used sparingly by manager Emma Hayes

Toone, 22, produced a return of seven goals and eight assists in her 22 matches for United and Le Tissier, 20, ran out 22 times in defence for Brighton.

Back in March, Hayes explained James’ lack of game time for Chelsea and the plan they had put in place to ease her back into full fitness.  

‘Lauren is an unbelievable talent who has come into this environment with a backload of some injury which we’ve had to get right, and we’ve had to get the whole holistic approach around Lauren right,’ the Blues manager said.

‘She wants to play more of course, but her gradual return to the top level is the most important thing for a player of her age, considering she hasn’t played three pre-seasons in a row. 

‘So we’re doing it the right way and it’s about building Lauren to last.’


Women’s Super League

Appearances: 6

Minutes: 107

Goals: 1 (Leicester 0-9 Chelsea, 27 March 2022)

Assists: 0

Women’s FA Cup

Appearances: 3

Minutes: 106

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Women’s Champions League

Appearances: 1

Minutes: 5

Goals: 0

Assists: 0


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