Esme Morgan, 22, describes herself as “calm” and “assured” on the pitch. It’s no wonder. The Sheffield-born defender started her youth career with Manchester City in 2015 but her love for football first began aged just three.
After joining City from her childhood club Eccleshall Rangers, she quickly progressed to the side’s under-16s Regional Talent Squad and then the Development Squad, before being selected by Nick Cushing to accompany the first-team on pre-season tours of Frankfurt and Toulouse.
Aside from a loan spell at Everton, Morgan has spent her entire career at City, where she first started off as a striker before taking on a defensive role.
She was then mostly employed as a centre-back but has also operated as a defensive midfielder.
Morgan first signed her professional contract with the club in June 2019 and scored her first goal in a 4-0 win against Birmingham in the 2020/21 campaign. She signed an extension of her contract with the club last year.
At the time, Morgan had also just made her maiden Wembley and Champions League appearances.
In September 2020, Morgan was called up to the England squad’s training camp, which provided her first taste of life with the senior Lionesses squad.
The defender returned to the senior side in September last year, when she was chosen by England boss Sarina Wiegman for the first time after her impressive league performances with City.
With Leah Williamson out of action at this World Cup and captain Millie Bright’s fitness in doubt, Morgan may well find herself a crucial part of England’s back four alongside the likes of Alex Greenwood, Jess Carter and Lucy Bronze.