Williamson to return for Lionesses after injury

February 14 – England captain Leah Williamson is back in the Lionesses’ squad list for the first time since April last year as preparation begins for Euro 2025 qualifying next month.

The Arsenal defender hasn’t played a competitive game for her country since the Women’s Finalissima in April last year, which saw Williamson captain her side to victory after a nervy penalty shootout against Brazil.

Her last appearance was in a 2-0 loss to Australia in April 2023. The 26-year-old was struck by an anterior cruciate ligament injury which ruled her out for almost a year, meaning she watched England’s run to the final of the 2023 Women’s World Cup from the sidelines.

Williamson returns for two friendlies against Austria and Italy ahead of Euro 2025 qualifying in March, and will be a huge boost to the squad after she led the Lionesses to the Euro 2022 title.

England manager Sarina Wiegman said: “It’s really nice, especially for her. She’s back, she’s gaining minutes at Arsenal and doing well.

“Even though she has been out for months, her decision-making is really good.”

Williamson has yet to play a full 90 minutes since her recovery, featuring as a substitute on her Arsenal comeback in a 6-0 League Cup win at Reading on January 25, then starting on February 4 and playing the first half as they lost 2-1 at West Ham in the Women’s Super League.

She replaces the injured Millie Bright in the England roster, who herself captained the Lionesses during the World Cup in Williamson’s absence.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1721402378labto1721402378ofdlr1721402378owedi1721402378sni@g1721402378niwe.1721402378yrrah1721402378