By Gregory Bryce
Perhaps the meteoric rise of Khadija Shaw all started back in the Caribbean FIFA World Cup Qualifiers where Shaw first truly began to set herself apart. While wearing the black, gold, and green of Jamaica, Shaw proved she was the best striker in the region. When the Reggae Girlz made it to the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, Shaw once again proved her pedigree when she kicked her game up another notch, and easily established herself as one of the best attacking players in CONCACAF overall. All the hype was on Shaw and how she would perform at the 2019 France Women’s World Cup.
Even more expectations were placed on her shoulders when she scored a terrific solo strike against a strong South Africa before almost single-handedly causing an upset with a brace against the much-fancied Scotland. Although she failed to put her name on the scoresheet in the World Cup, Shaw was clearly Jamaica’s best player at the tournament, and that was enough to land her a two-year contract with French giants Bordeaux.
Now, with only months left on her current contract, rumors have been buzzing about the Jamaican striker, with English giants Manchester City being rumored to be close to a deal that will see ‘Bunny’ Shaw becoming the latest addition to the growing female superpower.
Good move for Shaw?
Undoubtedly, I think a transfer to Manchester City women’s team would be a terrific step for ‘Bunny’ Shaw, who just a few years ago was representing St. Jago in ISSA High School Girls’ football in Jamaica. The attacking philosophy being indoctrinated at City would add another level of play to Shaw’s already world-class attributes. After all, Shaw is currently leading the French league’s goal scoring charts with 20 goals to her name and she was named player of the month for the French league in October and January.
She has already proven she has the capability to conquer Europe and I think a move to City would be no different for Jamaica’s all-time leading goal scorer.
So, who would be her teammates should she make the switch?
At City, Shaw would find a world-class team of players ready to support and play alongside her. With City deciding to send Jill Scott out on loan to Everton, and with Guem-Min Lee failing to impress and being sent out on loan to Brighton, Shaw will find her only competition for the starting line-up to be England’s striker, Ellen White.
White has a very similar playing style to Shaw, all things considered. Both strikers are tall, fast, have great ball control, and the ability to shoot from virtually anywhere. It is expected, however, that should Shaw make the switch to City, White could face less playing time as she will be turning 32-years-old in the coming days while Shaw is 24-years-old.
With coach Gareth Taylor taking over the job at City, the team has seen a more shifted focus on younger players. Under his guidance, we’ve seen the likes of 22-year-old Georgia Stanway getting more playing time, 23-year-old Chloe Kelly being signed from Everton and becoming a main player, 21-year-old Ellie Roebuck earning the spot as the number one goalkeeper, 16-year-old Khiara Keating joining the senior team, 19-year-old Jessica Park getting her debut and 25-year-old Caroline Weir constantly a match decider.
With that in mind, it is very likely that with Taylor as the coach, City would prefer to have Shaw as the younger option over the older striker, White. It helps that Shaw’s aerial dominance in the box matches perfectly well with Chloe Kelly’s and Lauren Hemp’s preference of driving down the wing and swinging a cross into the penalty box.
Right now, the plans for Shaw to join City are just rumors, but with many sources citing the same message, and the fact that she only has a few months left on her contract with Bordeaux, it is highly likely that Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw will be wearing the blue of Manchester City come next season.
Gregory Bryce is a freelance journalist.
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