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Wiegman delighted to have Williamson back in Lionesses fold
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Cian Cheesbrough
Leah Williamson has returned to Sarina Wiegman's England squad
Leah Williamson has returned to Sarina Wiegman's England squad

England boss Sarina Wiegman is delighted to have Leah Williamson back in her squad.

The Arsenal defender was among the 23 players selected for friendlies against Austria and Italy later this month.

It is the first time the 26-year-old will be involved in a Lionesses camp since she suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury last April, which ruled her out of the Women's World Cup.

Dutch boss Wiegman, 54, said: "It is really nice, especially for her. 

"She is back, she is gaining minutes at Arsenal, doing well. She is happy at Arsenal and they are of course happy too.

"It is really nice to have her back because she is a very good player, even though she has been out for months. Now she has come back, her decision-making is still really good.

"She is still building. The team picked up very well, players stepped up but it is still really nice to have her back."

Williamson skippered the Lionesses to Euro 2022 glory but Wiegman stopped short of confirming the Gunners ace will retain the armband.

She added: "I have to talk to the players first about that.

"We come in and we have to start again, we will revisit that and have a conversation with the players first."

There was no place for forward Nikita Parris despite her superb scoring form for Manchester United of late.

Parris — who has not featured in a Lionesses squad since November 2022 — has scored 15 goals in all competitions this season. 

In-form forward Nikita Parris missed out on the England squad
In-form forward Nikita Parris missed out on the England squad

And Wiegman admitted the 29-year-old's omission was a hard call to make.

She said: "The competition up front is really high. In the autumn she didn't play much.

"Since the new year she has played in the No9 position and has done really well, of course we have noticed that too.

"We have had a little chat and I hope she shows consistency because we are talking about her again but I made some other choices now for this camp.

"With the players we have, they have done well so it was a hard decision.

"We had a short conversation with her yesterday and I explained a little bit and that is now just the way it is."


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