Bunny Shaw in training

Is Man City’s Bunny Shaw set for a record-breaking WSL season?

Khadija “Bunny” Shaw continues to smash records and expectations whilst leading Manchester City’s frontline in the Women’s Super League this season.

The 26-year-old has the golden boot in her sights as the league’s top scorer with 17 goals, ahead of Aston Villa’s Rachel Daly with 13.

The pair are the only players to reach double figures so far this season.

Following Ellen White’s retirement, there were many questions as to where Gareth Taylor’s side would find goals this season without their all-time leading scorer.

However, Shaw has relished the responsibility of leading the frontline, and she has regularly proved the difference as her side’s main number nine.

Her Eastern Florida State College coach, Jeff Carr said: “I knew Bunny was going to play at the highest level and succeed because of her God-given skills.

“She always has a smile on her face. She has a love for the game and a love for her fans and teammates.”

During her time with the Titans, a teenage Shaw made her international debut with Jamaica, and she is now her country’s all-time top goal scorer with 55 goals in 38 appearances.

This WSL season, Shaw’s performances in front of goal are camouflaging an average campaign for Manchester City, as she has single-handedly launched them as title contenders.

Following a summer of exodus where Georgia Stanway, Caroline Weir, Lucy Bronze, and Keira Walsh all exited the club, there is an evident reliance on the prolific Shaw, who has scored more than three times the number of goals as Laura Coombs and Lauren Hemp, who are City’s next highest scorers this season with five and four goals respectively. 

Shaw’s current form rivals what is considered the greatest season by a singular player in the WSL, when Vivianne Miedema scored 22, the most goals in a single season, when Arsenal won their third and most recent title in 2018-19.

She played for 1779 minutes during that historic 2018-19 season, whilst Shaw has only notched 1538 minutes so far this year.

However, if Shaw were to match Miedema’s minutes, she is projected to score 21 goals, just one short of Miedema’s total.

Shaw is also expected to fall short of assists, shots on target and goal-creating actions, but she is predicted to win more aerial duals and tackles, highlighting the physicality of her game.

Carr said that Shaw always had a toughness, as well as a determination and drive which set her apart from other players.

“Bunny battles for everything,” he added.

“She is fantastic in the air, and she is also very technical and has a great right and left foot strike.

“I am so proud of Bunny and her success. She is very deserving for all she has done and will continue to do. Her future is endless.”

The projected data puts Shaw on track for a record-breaking season, as 21 goals would be the most goals scored by a Manchester City player in a WSL season, overtaking Nikita Parris’s 19 goals in the 2018/2019 campaign.

Shaw has already smashed Parris’ club record of 24 goals in a single season across all competitions, after recording 28 goals in 25 games.

That puts her present average at 1.12 goals per game across all competitions this season.

Shaw is well ahead of the other top scorers in the European leagues, with Alba Redondo of Levante UD Femenino holding the second-best average of 0.86 goals per game.

Although Miedema managed to steer Arsenal to a league title, it is evident that Shaw has had a sensational year, and she is projected to break more records and take home the golden boot at the end of the WSL season.

Featured image credit: Sky Sports Football Youtube channel

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