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UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Tactical Preview: Lauren Hemp – Scout Report

The Women’s Euro is upon us and with it, a chance to observe an ever-increasing pool of extremely talented players in a highly competitive environment. Lauren Hemp, of Manchester City and England, is definitely among them. The 21-year-old winger will be looking to add another successful national team campaign to her already impressive tally of achievements.

So, who is she and what makes her so special in the first place? This tactical analysis will give you a scout report on Hemp and visualise her player profile based on the tactics of her team and the analysis of her tool kit. Without further ado, let’s discover something about Hemp the person and then find out more about Hemp the player.


From playing football in the household garden with her sister Amy to being touted as one of the brightest young players on the planet, Lauren Hemp’s rise to stardom has been as scintillating as it has been impressive. Now aged 21, the heroine of North Walsham is looking to continue her domination of world football and solidify a place among the very best the sport has to offer — and so far, that journey has been going exceptionally well.

Hemp has already clinched three PFA Young Player of the Year awards, the final one coming in 2021, got the England Young Player of the Year award in 2017 and was also named a SportsAid ‘One To Watch’. Now, in addition to being one of the best at what she does, the 21-year-old is also a regular at a rampant Manchester City side and a member of the Lionesses’ team, having earned her first call-up to England’s senior squad for the 2020 SheBelieves Cup tournament in America, quickly followed by a role in Team GB’s appearance at the Tokyo Olympics. 

The young star is powerful, rapid, creative and decisive in almost all aspects of the beautiful game so her rise from North Walsham and Bristol to Manchester City and England has been exciting and more importantly, well-deserved.

Data Analysis

We’ll start our tactical analysis by dissecting Hemp’s data profile. Here, we’ll discuss her main attacking, defending and passing characteristics and see how she’s performed in the 2021/22 domestic season. Let’s see what she excels at in the following graph.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

As you can see from her data profile, there isn’t much Hemp isn’t good at. When it comes to pure attacking output, she almost has no equal as most of the metrics put her in at least the 90th percentile. The young winger dwarfs categories like non-penalty goals per 90, touches in the box per 90, shots, duels, dribbles — the whole nine yards. It doesn’t take an expert to recognise the immense talent Hemp has.

Even more importantly, as prolific and decisive as she is, the Englishwoman’s work rate off the ball is equally impressive. As we’ll see further down the line of this tactical analysis, she’s a part of a very aggressive and hard-working Manchester City team and a lot of it is reflected in the defensive metrics as well. She engages — and wins — a lot of duels, intercepts passes and is formidable in the air. Even when defending, Hemp is a complete player in her own right.

The only category she doesn’t completely dominate is passing. Hemp isn’t a build-up machine but due to the tactics and the nature of her team(s), she still gets into contact with the ball quite often. However, she loves to progress more via running as opposed to passing. However, even in the ‘lacking’ category, the 21-year-old is still more than just decent.

Now, without further ado, let’s jump straight into her most prominent traits.

Attacking phase

Being a prolific winger with both an eye for goal and a creative tool kit, it doesn’t surprise that Hemp is an incredible asset in the attacking phase of the game. The 21-year-old will largely be deployed on the left side of Manchester City’s offensive structure, looking to both create and exploit space in the final third of the pitch. This is important to understand because Hemp isn’t a build-up tool.

Yes, she will drop deeper when necessary and coordinate her movement depending on the wide defender’s positioning but she isn’t the type of player to be heavily involved in the first phase nor is she a progressive passer either. Rather, her greatest tool lies in progressive running. This is a trait that aids the first phase when needed, sure, but neither England nor Manchester City use it as such. Instead, we will see Hemp high and wide, ready to receive possession hugging the touchline and then starting one of her mazy, marauding runs.

Our first example shows an impressive sequence that starts just at the entrance to the final third and ends in the opposition’s box.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

The run itself is simply mesmerising but what’s even more important to note here is that it’s also quite common for Hemp. She’s got incredible running power, something akin to Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong or even Kevin De Bruyne, both of whom are nigh unstoppable when cutting through defensive blocks in a straight line. Hemp averaged 4.49 progressive runs per 90 in 2021/22 across all competitions, followed by 8.74 dribbles per 90 with a 70.2% success rate. 

Just to put that into context, she ranked first in both progressive runs and 1v1 and dribbling in the 2021/22 WSL campaign, registering 104 and 180 in total respectively. Remarkably, the second-best player could manage only 58 in the carries department, showing how ridiculously proficient Hemp is at it. Let’s look at more examples that showcase her offensive repertoire.

Apart from running power, she is an excellent crosser of the ball, courtesy of being a left-footed winger deployed on the left side of the pitch. As such, the England international benefits from the wide winger role that instructs her to provide and hold width while also being a constant threat through elite deliveries into the box; this is also where we have to talk about movement and positional awareness.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

In the example here, Hemp is already isolated on the left flank and is afforded far too much time on the ball. This is a rookie mistake by the opposition, yes, but also a part of both England’s and Manchester City’s tactics. Overloading one side just to isolate and release Hemp on the other is a recipe for success, simply due to her effective delivery kit.

The 21-year-old averaged 6.8 crosses per 90 with a 35.8% success rate and 1.89 shot assists in 2021/22 across all competitions, good enough for 0.41 assists per 90 from 0.31 xA per 90 and a total of 17 assists across 3771 minutes of game time. Note, of course, that not all of those assists come from crosses but being ranked first in crosses in the 21/22 WSL campaign with 134, it’s fair to say they make a big part of her offensive kit.

However, it’s not just the delivery that’s important here. Hemp moves well and is adept at recognising when and where to run and also how and when to release passes. Our next sequence will tell us more about that.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

Here, Hemp needs to create the separation by first moving backwards a few steps, opening a channel for her teammate to use, and only then receiving the ball and starting to run with it. Once that’s been accomplished, she glides past her marker almost effortlessly — something you’ll see more often than not — and deploys a cutback which turns into an assist.

With her 26 total key passes and 7.05 expected assists (xA), she ranked second and first respectfully in the 21/22 WSL season. Hemp is creative as they come but it’s the movement, intelligence and ball-striking that makes her a direct threat to the opposition’s goal too. With 16 goal contributions, she ranks fourth in the aforementioned WSL season, proving once more how crucial and lethal she is.

Our final example showcasing her creativity and progressive running power depicts all of these aspects in one single sequence. Here, Hemp receives the ball between the lines and in a deeper position on the pitch. Note that she’s still in the opposition’s half but has a deeper starting position than what we’ve seen so far.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

Upon receiving, the young talent breezes past her marker and starts a powerful run towards the opposition’s penalty area. The impressive thing here is the timing of her release of the ball. Hemp waits until multiple markers have collapsed onto her position, creating space elsewhere that can be exploited with a single pass — and exploit it she does, shortly after. This sequence alone shows her positional awareness, running and dribbling power, passing and timing of the release. Incredible passage of play by the 21-year-old.

Now, let’s turn to goal-scoring, in particular, for a moment. The young winger has notched 10 goals in the WSL and 27 across 3771 minutes in all competitions in 2021/22. Good enough for 0.64 goals per 90 from 0.49 expected goals per 90. This indicates a slight overperformance but nothing that would suggest an unstable return in the long-run — yet. When it comes to her positioning and shooting in the box, again, this comes down to tactics and her movement.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

Hemp loves to attack the box, as indicated by her 7.52 touches in the penalty area per 90 across all competitions and 144 in total in WSL, good enough to be ranked second in the league for pure quantitative output. However, it’s her positional awareness and the team’s efforts to enable her to exploit good shooting positions in the first place. 

In our latest example, Hemp is already isolated and afforded far more time and space than she should’ve been considering the high-quality chance at goal. That’s largely the case with her efforts at goal. She’s a prolific goal-scorer but only because she’s that intelligent too. Her movement aids her creativity but also ensures she can be a direct goal threat as well. A quick glance at her last 75 shots for the entirety of the 2021/22 campaign across all competitions can tell us more.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

The map suggests most of her goals come from high-quality chances, meaning her movement can resemble that of a poacher. Many of Hemp’s goals come from close-range shots just in front of the goalkeeper and rarely originate from outside the area. Long-range efforts are something she should be working on but the fact the 21-year-old doesn’t even take that many in the first place suggests she’s aware of this flaw in her player profile.


Being a rapid winger with technique and lethality means Hemp is also highly effective in transitions. Generally, Manchester City will dominate their opposition but having strong outlets is key to any elite team’s success. This makes the 21-year-old forward an even bigger piece of the jigsaw. Hemp is fast on her feet and can cover large distances while maintaining or even increasing her overall pace. In a footrace, she’s often the likely winner.

So how does this transition to her team’s counter-attacking threat? As noted before in this tactical analysis, Hemp is generally positioned high and wide in the attacking phase and the same can be said when the squad is trying to transition from the deep. Her pace and positioning allow her to be an outlet down the flanks as the winger will relentlessly attack space.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

In this example, we can see her team transitioning down the middle of the pitch and Hemp is on the left side, making a darting run from the deep. Even though she was a part of the defensive structure just mere moments ago, the 21-year-old is now providing an outlet on the wings. Her pace, type of movement and lethal tool kit make her a tremendous presence in this phase of the game. 

Hemp receives the ball from her teammate and quickly delivers a good return pass into the box. In a matter of seconds, her team went from defending deep to bombarding the opposition’s penalty area with crosses, courtesy of their young Englishwoman. We shouldn’t forget Hemp’s aggressive and powerful ball-carrying though, as this is extremely useful in transitional sequences.

Having the ability to conquer vast territory with the ball at her feet, Hemp is adept at single-handedly progressing the ball from her half to the danger zones on the other side of the pitch. You can see a similar sequence in the following example.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

It’s very difficult to capture such moments of magic in a single image but Hemp’s mazy runs are indeed mesmerising to watch. In this example, she effectively dances around four opposition players before breaking into open space towards the other team’s half. This not only conquers massive territory but also nullifies any sort of pressing structure you throw at Manchester City or England. In the modern day of high-pressing systems, this type of press resistance and progression is a godsend. 

Before we wrap this section of our scout report up, we have to talk about Hemp’s defensive transitions. Granted, this only boils down to her work rate, stamina and pace. It’s quite impressive to see a prolific forward put as much effort into continuously running, tracking back and covering for teammates and Hemp does all of it admirably.

In the following example against Barcelona, we can see the 21-year-old track all the way back from the opposition’s penalty area to Manchester City’s half of the pitch. 

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

Once she successfully recovers the ball, Hemp proceeds to send it back to the goalkeeper, resetting her team’s attack and extinguishing the other team’s potentially dangerous sequence. All in a day’s work for the young prodigy.

Defensive phase

Hemp is a clear asset in the attacking phase of the game but that doesn’t mean she’s not effective off the ball too. However, context is crucial once more. In order to fully understand how she defends, we have to understand how Manchester City defend as a team. In the 2021/22 WSL campaign, the Citizens were the team who pressed the most, registering 7.27 PPDA (passes allowed per defensive action), the lowest figure in the league. Note that the lower the PPDA number, the more aggressive the team presses in general.

This, of course, is not the only metric that depicts aggressiveness off the ball but considering Man City’s challenge intensity for the same season stands at an impressive 7 (As per Wyscout, quantifying how many defensive actions – defensive duels, loose ball duels, interceptions, tackles – a team is doing per minute of opponent ball possession), good enough for third-best in the WSL, we can conclude they are a high-pressing, aggressive squad; Hemp plays a big part in that as their press is often instigated by the forwards.

Just like the whole team as a collective, the 21-year-old plays with a bite. She’s a relentless runner, both in tracking back and pressing. The following graph depicts her defensive duels in a select few games where the sample was big enough to analyse. 

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

You’ll immediately note one thing: most of her defensive duels come very high on the pitch, even stretching to the opposition’s penalty area. Of course, this is all connected with how Manchester City set up their defensive block but Hemp is often the one chasing the ball to the ends of the Earth. 

The numbers confirm this thesis as well. In the 2021/22 campaign and across all competitions, the young winger has registered 4.53 defensive duels per 90 with a 70% success rate, 3.44 loose ball duels (34% won) and 4.37 recoveries per 90 with a whopping 77.6% in the opposition half of the pitch. These are impressive numbers that go in line with the team’s overall dynamic. She’s rapid, aggressive and relentless, which is something you can easily say about Manchester City as a team too.

Let’s look at some examples next. In the following one, you can see Hemp chasing the ball from Manchester City’s standard block.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

Note how she reads the opposition play well and knows she can get to the ball, intercept it and then turn defence into attack in a blink of an eye. Once more, we see her work rate, willingness to press and then, once she recovers possession, ball-carrying and decisiveness. Moments later, the opposition players are taking the ball out of their net and Hemp registers another assist for her ever-increasing tally.

However, Hemp actively hunts for the ball and related to this, one of her great characteristics is that she won’t give up. Perhaps it’s her age that accounts for the eagerness the young winger displays in her profile but whatever it is, it’s playing a crucial part in her teams’ tactics. The sheer determination has been the cause for many interceptions, recoveries and even chances created. Even more importantly, she does it cleanly most of the time.

For someone who is so aggressive in her approach, Hemp makes only 0.62 fouls per 90 and has also registered just 0.02 yellow cards per 90. This makes for only a single yellow card across 3771 minutes of play in 2021/22. Incredibly impressive. Let’s see some more of her defensive work in action, though.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

The sequence you can see here comes very late in the game, but Hemp doesn’t care. She’s still pressing like the game had just started and ends up recovering the ball very high up the pitch. The attack may not amount to anything in the end but the example still shows us some of the key elements in her player profile. Hemp works very hard for the team and tries and tries again until she succeeds.

This says a lot about her mentality, which is a crucial aspect of any young player’s development. Being able to push through a brick wall and jump through numerous hoops to get to the goal is priceless. Here’s another example depicting a very similar thing, albeit in a slightly different context.

Lauren Hemp 2021/22 - scout report - tactical analysis - tactics

This time, Hemp was chasing the ball deep into enemy territory. However, the pass was slightly overhit and the 21-year-old couldn’t get there in time. At first, that is. But her ‘never quit’ attitude compels her to keep pushing, fighting and biting for the ball. Eventually, she wins the duel, gets the ball and then deploys a cutback into the box for her teammate.

Whether the attack ends in a goal or not is not as important here anymore. What matters is her approach to any given action. There is no lost cause as far as Hemp is concerned; she will keep fighting until there’s nothing left to fight for. For a forward of her stature, this is a priceless trait to have.

Long may it continue.

Physical profile

In this part of our tactical analysis of Lauren Hemp, we’ll analyse her physical profile. This includes her height, build, mobility, power, stamina, acceleration and pace in different scenarios and phases of play. Some of these aspects have already been touched upon earlier in the scout report but we’ll discuss them in a bit more detail here once more.

Hemp is 5ft 5″ (164cm) tall and weighs around 54 kg (119 lbs), which makes for almost an ideal frame for a dynamic winger. Even though she isn’t big, Hemp can use her frame well to shield and control the ball and even brush off defenders. One of the big aspects of a good forward is how resistant they are to being dominated by their markers. Despite her rather diminutive physical appearance, the 21-year-old is more than capable of winning challenges, as confirmed by her 70% win rate in defensive duels for the 2021/22 season.

One of the reasons for her dribbling and progressive running success, however, is Hemp’s low centre of gravity. She always seems in perfect balance when dancing around her markers and as a result of that aforementioned centre of gravity, she can keep her balance while squeezing through tight defensive blocks. The youngster is also quite agile and mobile, meaning she can twist and turn quickly and effectively in multiple directions at impressive speeds.

As far as power is concerned, she isn’t physically imposing but as mentioned earlier in this section of our scout report, she can more than hold her own against defenders who are potentially bigger than her. Being able to run body-to-body is a crucial aspect of a forward who attacks space and is often chased down by defenders. Her acceleration and pure pace are also impressive. Even more so considering she runs in small but quick strides, which, for a winger, can be a disadvantage. Players who run in big strides are extremely difficult to stop once they get going. However, in true Paris Saint-Germain‘s Lionel Messi style, Hemp makes up for her diminutive physique with agility, mobility and quickness, both of thought and movement. 

This becomes even more impressive when the 21-year-old is in action in tight spaces. She never seems to run out of space to manoeuvre and somehow gets through even the tightest of cracks in defensive structures. Finally, her stamina is impressive as well. Hemp can be seen pressing and recovering the ball high up the pitch even in the dying minutes of the game, as already discussed in the defensive phase of our tactical analysis.

She may not be a physical specimen but is still quick, agile, hardworking, aggressive and tough — an excellent set of attributes for a rising star in world football.


At 21 years of age, Lauren Hemp has her entire career ahead of her but if these early signs are anything to go by, she’ll become one of the best players on the planet sooner rather than later. With a very intriguing and complete skill set, the English star in making is bound to take the world of football by storm, starting with the upcoming Euro tournament.

Don’t blink as you might miss her wreaking havoc in an England shirt. Again.