In Focus: Lioness Georgia is setting the Standard after Bayern switch
Arsenal have a European Championship-winning Lioness standing in their way of reaching the Women’s Champions League semi-finals.
Georgia Stanway joined Bayern Munich from Manchester City shortly after playing a starring role in England’s Euro 2022 triumph last summer.
And having enjoyed an impressive start to life in Bavaria, the 24-year-old will now line up against a number of her Lionesses team-mates in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Ahead of the first leg at the Allianz Arena tonight, we turn the spotlight on the midfielder's season in the Frauen-Bundesliga so far.
A surprise hit
Despite bravely singing Sweet Caroline as her initiation song in front of a number of Germany international team-mates who she had just beaten in the Euros final at Wembley, Stanway has become a fan favourite at Bayern.
Deployed in a slightly deeper midfield role for her new club, the Barrow native has scored seven goals in 25 appearances this season — including three in the Champions League — as well as providing six assists.
Even Stanway has admitted her surprise at how quickly she has taken to life with the four-time Bundesliga champions, who are two points behind Wolfsburg in the title race.
She recently told FIFA: "I’m really happy with where I am. I’ve progressed massively at Bayern. I think I’ve progressed a lot quicker than I expected.
"I think I’ve managed to ride the wave from the Euros with my form. I’m very happy with my Champions League statistics — three goals, three assists in the group stage, which is massive for me.
"For the last two, three years I haven’t been part of the Champions League, so it’s been great to get back in there and also to showcase what I’ve got."
Bayern have been one of Europe’s most devastating attacking sides under coach Alexander Straus this season and Stanway has more than played her part.
No team-mate has been involved in more Champions League goals than the Euro 2022 winner this term (six), having been given free reign to burst forward, create chances and score goals.
On her all-action role, ex-City star said: "It’s exciting! It kind of gives me a licence to go and join attacks, and be creative, get shots off, slip players in, work in wide triangles or link with the No9 or whatever may be."
Leading by example
Stanway was one of three high profile City players to up sticks and move abroad last summer alongside Keira Walsh and Lucy Bronze, who both joined Barcelona.
And while the Citizens were knocked out of the Champions League in the qualifying stage, all three are set to play key roles for their sides in the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite competition with Barca taking on Roma.
On whether she would encourage other English youngsters to move abroad to enhance their careers, Stanway told ITV: "Yes absolutely.
"I'm here and I'm experiencing it and I'm absolutely loving it and I think that's the most important thing you can do push yourself and get out of your comfort zone because you don't know what's out there."
Stanway will tonight lock horns with her international captain Leah Williamson, as well as experienced Scot Kim Little.
The Gunners have hit an impressive run of form after sealing the Continental Cup earlier this month before securing two successive Women’s Super League wins.
On the test that awaits her side, Stanway told the BBC: "They [Arsenal] are aggressive.
"They're ferocious both on and off the ball. They find ways to put the ball in the back of the net and they've got players playing really well."
But asked if Bayern have a shot at Champions League glory this season, the midfielder said: "Absolutely. Champions League football is like no other and the nerves are high, the stress is high, the competition is high.
"You've got to be on your A-game."