England boss says losing Williamson to injury ahead of Austria and Latvia clashes is 'disappointing'November 17, 2021
SARINA WIEGMAN is ‘disappointed’ to lose her stand-in captain to injury with Leah Williamson out of England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The Arsenal ace will miss the Lionesses’ games against Austria and Latvia this month, while Jordan Nobbs has been recalled.
Arsenal say their influential centre-back, who plays in midfield for the national team, suffered a serious hamstring injury ruling her out of action for the rest of this year.
After naming her squad, England boss Wiegman said: “Leah is very disappointed and I'm very disappointed.
"We actually didn't expect it would be this bad that she couldn't join us.
“It’s so very disappointing first of all for herself, but also for the team and also for Arsenal as they have some major games coming up.”
With Williamson and Steph Houghton both out with injuries, Wiegman needs a new temporary captain to lead her 23-strong squad ahead of their clashes with Austria and Latvia on November 27 and 30.
However, the former Netherlands head coach was tight-lipped on who her new stand-in skipper will be.
The England boss added: “With Leah’s injury (being) so fresh we haven’t discussed it (the captaincy) we are taking our time to make that decision and then we’ll talk to the squad.”
Wiegman has left Lucy Staniforth off her 23-player list while Lucy Bronze and Ellie Roebuck are yet to return to fitness.
But Arsenal ace Nobbs is back in the side following her returning to fitness and form for the Gunners.
And the midfielder could feature in England's games against Austria at Sunderland's Stadium of Light on November 27 and Latvia at Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium on November 30.
The Lionesses’ match against Austria could see Ellen White receive her 100th senior cap.
The 2021 Ballon d'Or nominee is just two goals short of equalling Kelly Smith’s international scoring record of 46.
On Austria’s threat as opponents, Wiegman added: “They have some players that we really should be aware of – for example (Nicole) Billa their centre forward and an experienced goalkeeper who plays for Arsenal.
"I'm looking forward to it because it's a game at a higher level, but I think we will have more possession more than them.”
England Women’s Squad
Goalkeepers: Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa), Sandy MacIver (Everton) Mary Earps (Manchester United).
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal), Jessica Carter (Chelsea), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Man City), Niamh Charles (Chelsea).
Midfielders: Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Man City), Georgia Stanway (Man City), Keira Walsh (Man City), Katie Zelem (Man United).
Forwards: Bethany England (Chelsea), Lauren Hemp (Man City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Man United), Ella Toone (Man United), Ellen White (Man City).
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