With the Red Devils very much in contention for the title, a personal season to revel in and the accolade of Player of the Month in December 2020, you could say that things are going pretty well for Manchester United forward Leah Galton.
Fast cementing herself as one of the league’s most proficient left sided players, Leah Galton is what one could jovially describe as a real zinger of a winger.
Motoring up and down the left-hand side with a monstrous pace and with the intent to cause some damage, she navigates the wing with a stout obstinacy. Moxie that more often than not places her right at the forefront of the action.
Galton is no stranger to finding the back of the net. With a ball carrying capability that enables her to breach defensive lines, Galton closes down space in the box and typically takes advantage of the tight angle. Yet she does not need to be anywhere near the eighteen-yard box to write her name on the scoresheet. When the time calls, from seemingly any distance in the final third and with a boundless force, Galton puts them away with that weapon of a left foot.
But further than this finishing aptitude is Galton’s ability to assist, which is crucial to United’s success. An eye for an opening to create, Galton’s developing communication with those around her often allows the vision to become a reality. A quick one-two, slip behind the defender, send in the cross, easy.
With a flexibility that has seen her play in more central or defensive roles and with an evident shoulder of responsibility, Galton throws herself into every position she is charged with. She is more than capable defensively, unafraid to make a challenge or to track back when needed and her stint as a fullback should certainly not be overlooked. Yet, that ache to attack bubbles away beneath the surface and Galton is at her best when she is able to unleash this. Scoring, assisting, defending; quite simply, Galton is one of Manchester United’s greatest threats.
One might contemplate that a player of such skill has had it easy, yet Galton’s career has not been plain sailing. Starting out with Leeds United, Galton’s career took flight during a four-year scholarship with American college side, Hofstra Pride, in which time Galton made history as the team’s second highest goal scorer. She was then drafted by NWSL side Sky Blue FC before signing with Bundesliga team, Bayern Munich. However, things were not to be, and after just three months with the German side, Galton announced she would be taking a break from professional football.
Reflectivee of her hardy attitude on the pitch, Galton ultimately weathered the storm. After signing for Manchester United for their inaugural season, the organic flair that sparked in America is now being seen once again. Speaking on the UTD podcast, Galton describes the meeting in which Casey Stoney reignited that simmering fire, “I came out of that meeting thinking ‘wow, that’s the team I want to play for and that’s the coach I want to play under’”.
“Casey said she thought she knew my potential and she wanted to invest”. Of course, the United boss knew exactly what she was doing. What an investment Galton has turned out to be.
Delving deeper into her return to the game, Galton also mentions a sense of security, an indication that she “feels at home with United”. Recalling her performances of late, it certainly feels that way. Overcoming niggles of self-doubt with the backing of those who will you to succeed can establish an entirely different outlook. One can certainly relate to the notion that half the battle is won when you feel comfortable, when you feel like yourself.
In an interview with The Guardian, reflecting on United’s position in the table, Galton alludes to the impact of overseas signings and the resulting elevated mindset that is now coursing through the team. Yet with an earnest modesty, Galton has not noted the influence that she herself brings to that blossoming United play. An influence that could justly be dubbed, The Galton Effect.
What has emerged in Galton is a growing confidence, an assurance in one’s own abilities that teeters on the edge of something rather special. Given the outstanding statistics Galton is consistently churning out, one suspects is should not be long until her name appears on the national team squad list. But perhaps, for now, that is not the immediate goal. Perhaps, just for now, being on top, feeling like yourself and challenging for titles with a club that feels like home, is enough.
Sit back and relax, treat yourself with a front row seat to the Leah Galton show. The winger that is every bit worthy of her time in the spotlight.