Who is Manchester United’s new signing Nikita Parris?

After her amazing triumph at the Women’s EURO’s, Nikita Josephine Parris was born in Toxteth, Liverpool on the 10th of March 1994. Whilst being raised with her twin sister, Parris trained with the athletic team whilst at Primary School as she dreamed about playing for Arsenal. She went on to start her own team when she was 11 to start a women’s team in the community and give more girls the chance to play a sport that they love.

At the age of ten, after supporting Liverpool FC throughout her childhood, she was recruited by Mo Marley, the head coach of Everton. However, despite her determination to stay grounded, she joined Everton’s Centre of Excellence at 14. Whilst she attended Bellerive FCJ Catholic College, she switched to a sixth form as they specialised in sports. Whilst furthering her education, she earned a degree in sports development from Liverpool John Moores University.

In 2010, she made her senior-team debut for Everton in the May of that year. She came on as a second-half substitute in an away game against Arsenal and also played her second match during the qualifying tournament for the 2010-11 UEFA Women’s Champions League. During the 2010-11 Champions League competition, she played in five matches for the club. In the following year, she was named to Everton’s squad for the inaugural season of the Women’s Super League, and she made a further three appearances for the club during the 2011 FA WSL season.

During the 2012 FA WSL season, she played in 10 matches and featured in the starting line-up for 5 of them. Despite not scoring any goals during the 2012 season, the following 2013 season, started Parris’ goalscoring front for the club. Throughout 11 games, she scored 6 goals. Her excellence shone through as she scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over Notts County in the September. She also scored Everton’s only goals in their 4-2 loss against Liverpool. Due to her contribution, Everton finished third in the league with a 7-3-4 record.

In their 2014 season, she made 19 appearances and scored 11 goals in total. Despite Parris’ contribution, Everton went winless throughout the league and were relegated to FA WSL 2. For her performance she was placed on the shortlist for the 2015 PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year and was selected for the WSL Team of the Year.

After 4 seasons with Everton, Parris joined Manchester City on a season-long loan in January of 2015. During her stint at City, she scored 4 goals out of 13 matches. Her first goal came during a match against Sunderland as she headed the ball from a corner kick in the 17th minute. She also scored another goal during their match against Liverpool as she scored the equaliser in the 54th minute. City finished in second place during the regular season as they held a 9-2-3 record.

She signed an official two-year contract with City in January of 2016. During the 2016 FA WSL season, she scored 1 goal throughout 16 games as her singular goal came during their 2-0 win against Sunderland as she scored the game winning goal in the 40th minute. City won the WSL that year as they placed first with a 13-0-3 record. She also played during all three games of the final stage of the League Cup helping City clinch the 2016 title. She also made her senior international debut for the England national team as a substitute in England’s Euro 2017 qualifying victory against Serbia. She registered an assist as England won 7-0.

Parris made her UEFA Women’s Champions League debut for the club in the October of 2016 in the teams 2-0 win against Zvezda-2005 Perm in the Round of 32 of the 2016-17 tournament. She competed in seven matches throughout the competition as she helped the team advance to the semi-finals, but they were later defeated by Lyon. In the FA WSL Spring Series in 2017, she scored 3 goals during the 6 games she played. She also helped the club cinch the 2016-17 FA Women’s Cup in the same year.

In City’s 2017-18 FA WSL season, she was a starting forward in the 17 of 18 games she played and scored 11 goals. Due to this, she ranked second in the league behind Ellen White. In City’s win against Sunderland, she scored 2 goals in their 3-0 victory and secured City’s place at top of the table in the league. In the last few games of the season, she scored a hat-trick against Yeovil Town but despite her efforts, City finished in second place during the regular season with a 12-4-2 record and secured the team’s qualification in to the 2018-19 UEFA Women’s Champions League.

She competed in eight matches of the 2017-18 UEFA Women’s Champions League. Throughout the tournament, she scored 4 goals including two-game winners. She helped City reach the semi-finals, but they were defeated once again by Lyon in a aggregate defeat. In the November of 2017, she signed a new contract with City at the end of the 2018-19 FA WSL season. During the season, she scored 19 goals out of 19 appearances and was the second highest goal scorer in the league for the season, the highest all-time WSL goal-scorer and second in the all-time assists.

She began the season off with a brace in their 4-0 win against Everton on the 20th of September. She went on to score another brace during the teams 7-1 win facing West Ham United. At the age of 24, she became the Women’s Super League’s all-time top goal-scorer after scoring another brace in their 3-0 win against Liverpool. She scored a hat-trick in the club’s 4-3 win against Reading, leading them to finish in second place behind Arsenal with a 14-1-5 record.  In that same year, she helped City win the 2018-19 FA Women’s Cup in front of 43,264 fans at Wembley Stadium.

She also competed in the team’s two 2018-19 UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 32 matches where they found themselves defeated on a 1-3 aggregate by Atlético Madrid. However, in the May of 2019, she announced that she would be leaving City at the end of the 18/19 season. She made a total of 127 appearances for the club and scored 62 goals. Her 25 assists gained her second all-time in the league after Karen Carney with 35. She was also voted the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Player of the Year. During her time with the club, she gained two FA Cup titles, two Continental Cups, a league title and saw herself in two Champions League semi-finals.

In 2019, after her time with City, she moved to Division 1 Féminine side Olympique Lyonnais as she signed a three-year contract. On her league debut, she scored her first league goal for the club in their 6-0 win against Marseille. She also scored 2 goals in their 5-0 home win against Montpellier in the February of 2020, however, these would prove to be her last goals of the season as the season was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In her 15 appearances, she made 10 starting 11 features and scored 8 goals. Lyon also finished first in the league and secured their place in the 2020-21 UEFA Women’s Champions League. Parris created four goals in her 6 appearances in the 2020-21 UEFA Women’s Champions League but missed the final due to suspension after she was sent off in the semi-final against rivals PSG. Lyon went onto win the Champions League title for the fifth consecutive year after their 3-1 victory against VfL Wolfsburg. This win marked Lyon’s seventh Champions League title.

She scored her first goal of the 20/21 Division 1 Féminine season in Lyon’s 3-0 win against Reims in September of 2020. She scored 4 goals in 26 minutes during Lyon’s 9-0 win against Issy in the December and scored a double against Paris FC in the January of 2021 increasing her goal tally for the season to 11.

After two amazing seasons with Olympique Lyonnais, she returned to the Women’s Super League as she signed for Arsenal for a club-record fee on the 2nd of July 2021. She scored her first goal for the club in her August debut versus Okzhetpes in the Champions League. She also scored her 50th goal in the WSL in the club’s match against Aston Villa in the May of 2022. During her time with the club, she scored 1 goal out of 18 appearances.

After being named to the 2022 Women’s EURO’s squad, she featured in the final for the last couple of minutes after England’s tremendous victory. Throughout her whole England career, she’s made 67 appearances and scored 15 goals. Due to her performance throughout the competition, Manchester United scouted Parris on the 6th of August 2022 as she joined the club on a one-year contract with possibilities of furthering.

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