She may only be 23 years of age but Keira Walsh has already been tipped to don the captain’s armband one day – for Club and country.

The tireless engine of the team – technically gifted, highly intelligent and selfless – is a pivotal cog in the City machine and with a deep love of the Club, she truly bleeds Blue.

Since the day she announced herself onto the top flight stage as a teenager with a solid display against a highly-experienced and talented Arsenal side in the 2014 Continental Cup Final, Walsh has gone from strength to strength.

She is now regarded as one of the most influential players in both the City and England starting line-ups.

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In addition to her physical skill, her role modelling behaviours have earned deserved acclaim from her managers, peers and supporters, as she leads by example, always prioritising the needs of the team before her own and demanding the highest standards from those around her.

Though a quiet and reserved character away from the pitch, she is a true leader on it: vocal, encouraging and truly committed.

This season, with the sad absence of supporters within stadiums, her leadership role has become more evident, with the notable silence in the stands allowing an insight into the on-pitch communication.

Walsh has always been regarded as a wise head on young shoulders and to witness her embracing her responsibilities so wholeheartedly is encouraging for the whole of English football.

It’s a position she takes very seriously.

“I am quite vocal anyway – I never had problem telling people if something was not up to standard,” she explained.

“I pride myself on high standards and that’s something I’ve spoken with my managers about throughout my career: trying to drive those high standards on the pitch.

“I’m probably a little different to some of the other players. They tend to focus on the positives, whereas if something needs to be said, I’m more than happy to be the one to say it.

“At times in the past, when we’ve not been good enough, we’ve perhaps been a little bit soft with each other by not saying things and nipping things in the bud.

“Now, we’re all on the same page as a team and we recognise that sometimes, we need to have those difficult conversations – but in the right way.

“You probably hear that I always tell Georgia Stanway if she’s having too many shots or not passing – but she knows that anyway!

“Of course, we go through that kind of thing in analysis anyway but on a serious note, that honesty is what we need to get to the next level and we all acknowledge that.

WATCH: Funny commentary: Walsh and Scott prank Stanway!

“It’s something the new players have brought in too: that desire to drive the standards across the board.”

Holding such high standards, while Walsh, her teammates and manager admit the season so far has brought mixed results, the midfield maestro says enduing a period of transition was only natural, adding she has been encouraged by the progress made week by week.

“With new players and a new manager, there needs to be time to adapt,” she continued.

“And even without that, players naturally have dips in performance every so often.

“In the past, we haven’t had the same level of squad rotation available as we have this season but going into a season and wanting to challenge for every trophy means you have to have different players.

“Players are looking confident and playing well together. You could see that in the game against Bristol.

“In previous games, the final pass had been missing or the cross hadn’t been of the standard.

“We discussed it a lot in training and then against Bristol, it clicked and we did a professional job.

“Now, it’s about getting that consistency.”

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