England Women’s head coach Phil Neville believes Manchester City star Georgia Stanway will become one of the best players in the world.
The 20-year-old was a shining light in England’s 2-0 triumph over Japan last night, assisting Ellen White’s opening goal and providing the opposition with a plethora of problems in her first-ever World Cup start.
Following Stanway’s impressive performance, Neville said: “If she keeps her feet on the ground, keeps progressing and working hard, she’s going to be one of the best players in world football.
"She’s got that potential; she just needs to keep working hard.
“When we named the team, I think she was a bit surprised. We told her - pretend you’re playing with your friends in the park because that’s when she’s at her best.”
Stanway’s newly-signed City attacking teammate White, who scored her second and third England goals of the tournament against Japan, also had plenty of praise for the PFA Young Player of the Year.
“Georgia is an unbelievable talent; we see it on the training pitch day in day out,” declared White, whose nonchalantly-finished first was initiated by a Stanway through ball.
“It’s a lovely assist and I’m really proud of her for performing the way she did on the biggest stage.
"Hopefully, she can continue to assist me going forward at this World Cup and with Man City in the future.”
After topping Group D with a 100 per cent win rate, Stanway, White and the rest of the Lionesses next play on Sunday 23 June in the first round of World Cup knock-out matches with their opponents to be determined on Thursday night.
Jack Hasler is a Football Journalism student at the University of Derby who are reporting on the Women’s World Cup from France.