Leah Williamson named in England squad for Arnold Clark Cup

Sarina Wiegman has named captain Leah Williamson in England's 26-player squad for the Arnold Clark Cup after she recovered from an ankle injury, it was announced on Tuesday.

England are aiming to defend their title and have Williamson back as captain after she missed their matches at the end of last year due to injury. Wiegman has drafted Laura Coombs back into the mix after she last featured in 2020 while uncapped goalkeeper Emily Ramsey is also called up.

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Speaking at a news conference at Tuesday, Wiegman said: "I'm very happy she's back and it's good to have your captain back with the quality she brings. It's not just for her but I'm happy. I haven't see the squad for about three months so I'm excited to get started again."

Beth Mead misses out due to the ACL injury she picked up in December but Jess Park keeps her place in the squad after she scored on her England debut in their 4-0 win over Japan in November. Nikita Parris, Gabby George and Esme Morgan also miss out having featured in the squad last time around.

"They are competing for selection," Wiegman added. "Lucy was a little further ahead. We keep an eye on her too. We have conversations with them all the time. They have moved to clubs where they are playing a lot now.

"I think it's good for competition but you can't control what your competitors do. We can see now where they are at and how they're improving. Then we look at what they do and make a choice. It's good, they get minutes, and it makes their position better but it doesn't guarantee they will be selected."

England open their Arnold Clark Cup campaign against South Korea at Stadium MK on Feb. 16, then face Italy in Coventry on Feb. 19. They finish up against Belgium on Feb. 22 at Ashton Gate in Bristol.

"The first camp of the year is always important to set the right tone for what comes next, especially with such a big opportunity in the summer," Wiegman said. "We are only looking forward now and we have to stay humble and focused on working hard. We know the fans will be with us again and we can't wait to see them at every stadium.

"We had a positive experience with the Arnold Clark Cup last time. We had three tough matches with different challenges in each one, and we were able to learn a lot from our performances and work on many details which we are aiming to do again."

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Sandy MacIver, Emily Ramsey, Ellie Roebuck

Defenders: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood, Maya le Tissier, Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy

Midfielders: Laura Coombs, Fran Kirby, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh, Katie Zalem

Forwards: Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Chloe Kelly, Jess Park, Alessia Russo, Katie Robinson, Ebony Salmon