Arsenal's Leah Williamson returns to the England squad after injury

Leah Williamson
Leah Williamson Credit: PA

Leah Williamson is back in the England squad for the first time since recovering from injury.

The 26-year-old, who has won 46 caps and captained the Lionesses to Euro 2022 glory, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury last April and missed the World Cup, but returned to action with Arsenal recently and gets the call-up from Sarina Wiegman.

Millie Bright and Bethany England are out injured while there is no room for Nikita Parris despite a good run of form for Manchester United.

Speaking recently, Williamson said women players were driving themselves "into the ground" with a hectic schedule which could lead to more serious injuries unless an unsustainable workload is managed properly.

In January, Chelsea forward Sam Kerr got an ACL injury during Chelsea’s warm weather training in Morocco leaving the Australia forward with her own lengthy spell of rehabilitation.

UEFA has launched an initiative to investigate and better understand ACL injuries in the women’s game, which have also impacted England forward Beth Mead and two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas.

Williamson, who captained England to Euro success on home soil in 2022, said more must be done to better manage player workload going forward.

“We’re not bred for this. Nowadays we get to October and girls are saying, ‘I’m tired’ because you’re carrying so much from the previous season,” Williamson said in an interview with Telegraph Women’s Sport.

“Ultimately, I think the way you’re taking women’s football right now, you won’t be able to increase the ticket prices or get bigger crowds in the stadiums because you won’t have players to watch.

“We are driving ourselves into the ground with it, so some sort of solution needs to be found soon, in terms of the schedule, otherwise it’s not sustainable.”

Williamson hopes a balance can be struck in future international calendars.

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