In Focus: Blues can rely on Cuthbert to help deliver WSL title
Erin Cuthbert scored for the third league game in a row as Chelsea sailed past West Ham on Wednesday to return to the top of the Women's Super League.
The Blues ran out comfortable 4-0 winners and now look set to close in on a fourth-straight WSL title at Manchester United's expense.
Cuthbert, 24, has been a standout performer under Emma Hayes since she transitioned into midfield at the start of the season and is now adding goals to her game.
Ahead of Chelsea's crunch clash with Arsenal today, we turn the spotlight on the Scotland international.
Cuthbert's six-and-a-half-year stint in the English capital has been a resounding success with the Scot boasting 10 winner's medals from her time at Chelsea.
And despite the influx of global talents including Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder and Melanie Leupolz, she has remained a distinguished player in Hayes' squad.
The 58-cap international has an infectious energy in her play and can often be seen chasing down loose balls or putting her opponents under pressure.
With eight goal contributions in 16 league appearances in 2022-23, it is no wonder that Hayes has relied on her No22 so often this season.
After last year's FA Cup final victory, Hayes admitted that she wished she could have a team full of Erin Cuthberts, a testament to the player herself.
Her elite mentality and drive are traits that every professional should desire and Cuthbert is very open about her motivations to remain at the top despite Chelsea's constant quest to improve.
She said: "Everybody expects the winning team to slip up all the time. So it's our job to keep proving we are still at the top and to try to remain there is the hardest thing.
"I'm driven as ever, motivated as ever. If I didn't have the same drive and determination I wouldn't be at this football club any more.
"I still feel I have more to give and the little flame inside me is still lit."
Scotland's two-time Player of the Year signed a new contract with the West Londoners at the start of the season as she prepared to make the switch from defence to midfield.
Much of Cuthbert's early time at the WSL champions was spent as a wing-back but fast forward a few years and she is now considered one of the best midfielders in the division.
Cuthbert has also formed an excellent relationship with attacking talents Harder and Kerr, helping Chelsea score a league-high 61 goals in the WSL this term.
The Irvine-born maestro has shone on the continent this term too, picking up the Player of the Match award against Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage.
Cuthbert thrives at the heart of the Chelsea dressing room and her humour helps her team-mates take a more relaxed approach to games.
The Blues' dominance is reliant on their star midfielder being at the top of her game and she rarely disappoints with her performances.
Norwegian winger Guro Reiten believes the midfielder has "an engine that never stops" and that the other players can use that as motivation on the pitch.
But while Cuthbert is enjoying one of her best seasons in professional football, the job is not done yet.
Chelsea can put one hand on the WSL trophy with a win over Arsenal this afternoon and you can be sure that the Blues ace will be up to the task.