Why Le Tissier wears no.4 for United

Wednesday 17 January 2024 13:48

Manchester United Women defender Maya Le Tissier has been a mainstay for the Reds since completing her transfer to the club from Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer of 2022.

Le Tissier has featured in every one of our 47 competitive matches dating back to the start of last season and is the only Red to have achieved that feat.

Her importance to Marc Skinner’s side is clear to see, and Maya’s ever-presence means that her no.4 jersey has become a familiar sight on the pitch for United Women fans this season.

That is, of course, only true for this campaign, as the defender donned the no.15 shirt – now worn by Gemma Evans – during her debut term at the club in 2022/23.

TeamViewer Diaries: Maya Le Tissier Video

TeamViewer Diaries: Maya Le Tissier

TeamViewer Diaries | Maya Le Tissier talks tackling, team spirit and taking United Women's no.4 shirt in this episode...

The England international made the number switch in the summer and explains the thinking behind it in the new episode of the TeamViewer Diaries series, which you can watch above.

“When I was younger, when I used to play for my team St. Martins, I always used to wear number four,” she says.

“And for Guernsey as well. So, I thought it would be really nice to have the no.4 shirt. 

“I’m pretty sure my dad used to wear that as well when he was playing. So, it’s really good to have the four shirt.”

As well as discussing her new look during an insightful trip to the diary room, Maya tells us how she has settled into life in Manchester, the ways in which she is assisting this season’s new recruits in adjusting and what it is like to play in front of Mary Earps, who retained her crown as The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper this week.

The defender also talks about the role and responsibility she has on the ball for United, and how much she enjoys helping to start attacking moves by playing out from the back.

Her Reds team-mate Hannah Blundell and Chelsea’s Jess Carter are the only players in the Women’s Super League this season to have attempted more passes than our no.4 (778), while Le Tissier is one of only four players to have completed over 650 passes (652), according to statistics guru FBref.

United defenders Maya, Hannah and Millie Turner are all in the top five for attempted and completed passes, according to FBref data.

“I love it [playing out from the back],” the central defender begins.

“I love being on the ball and I think that’s really something I’ve had to improve on, coming from Brighton to United last season.

“What I did on the ball was massive and it’s the way that we play, so it’s obviously very important and it’s the things that start the attack for the attackers to score.

“I just need to make sure I stay concentrated defending as well because that is my job!”

You can see plenty more from Maya in the latest episode of this season's TeamViewer Diaries series – watch here.