Manchester City have announced that Australian winger Hayley Raso will leave the club this summer. Raso joined the blues at the start of the 2021/22 season from Everton and made 22 appearance, scoring four goals. However, the winger has barely featured this season and has spent most of her time on the bench. In total, she has made 19 appearances, with just ten of those coming in the WSL.
Manager Gareth Taylor, who announced Raso’s departure following City’s 3-2 victory over Everton, paid tribute to the Aussie star. “She has energy and quality, I’ve been pleased to work with Hayley over last two years. She’s so close to being at another level, especially with the things she has.
“I believe she’s improved a lot while being here and has had to really compete with Chloe [Kelly], Lauren [Hemp] and Julie Blakstad, which isn’t easy because these are top players. She goes with our best wishes and we look forward to seeing what she does next and how she does at the World Cup as well.”
Raso Wasn’t Given A Chance
When she joined the blues in 2021, Hayley Raso featured quite heavily, and her speed on the wings caused an abundance of problems for defenders, who had no idea how to deal with the winger.
However, after an exciting first season in Manchester, Raso found herself frozen out of the City side, particularly in the WSL, where she started just one match from 22. She came on as a sub 14 times, was an unused sub three times and wasn’t included in the match day squad, whether through injury or other, four times.
The Australian star featured once in the FA Cup, which was a sub appearance, and was also an unused sub once from their three matches. The other time, Raso was not in the match day squad again.
In the League Cup, Raso featured in all six matches, starting five and coming on as substitute once. She scored five goals in those matches as City progressed to the semi-final. However, against Arsenal in the last four, Taylor dropped her to the bench, only bringing her on in the 90th minute.
And, in the Champions League Raso made two appearance as a late sub in both of City’s matches.
It looks like Taylor had decided at the beginning of the season that Raso didn’t feature in his plans, and clearly had some issue with the winger. The fact that Raso only completed a full 90 minutes on four occasions, those being in the League Cup, then being dropped as soon as the blues faced Arsenal, showed that he didn’t consider the Australian to be good enough for a side that failed to win silverware, even without her.
And Taylor’s comments, apparently paying tribute to the star, showed the level of contempt that he has for her. “She has energy and quality,” he said, but failed to utilise it. “Had to compete with Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp and Julie Blakstad.” This is the same Chloe Kelly that only made 16 appearances for City in the WSL and scored two goals. She made a few, but in all honesty, has Kelly only got by this season on her goal-scoring heroics during the Euros last summer?
It is also the same Julie Blakstad that Taylor saw fit to send out on loan to BK Hacken in March. The same Julie Blakstad that featured in just nine WSL matches this season. The same Julie Blakstad that featured in five League Cup matches, one less than Raso herself and helped City reach the League Cup semi-final, only to be an unused sub in the defeat to Arsenal.
So, it’s abundantly clear that it wasn’t just the competition that prevented Raso from playing.
What Next For Raso?
Hayley is likely to feature in the World Cup for Australia this summer and, while she is currently without a club, someone of Raso undoubted quality will hopefully return to the WSL soon.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Hayley for her commitment to the blues and wish her the best of luck for the future.