Arsenal defender Leah Williamson has been named England Women captain for this summer’s European Championship.
The 25-year-old had been wearing the armband on a temporary basis until manager Sarina Wiegman was able to assess the entire squad.
However, further injury setbacks to former captain Steph Houghton has left the former Netherlands boss with a decision to make.
Leah Williamson to Be England Women Captain at Euro 2022
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) April 5, 2022
Vice-Captain Also Named
Leah Williamson was informed yesterday that she would lead her country at Euro 2022. England, of course, will host the competition with the final at Wembley Stadium. Her teammates were then informed later on Monday evening.
Williamson has been with her childhood club, Arsenal, throughout her footballing career. She is one of the best talents England have at their disposal and can play both in central defence and midfield.
She has played 27 games for the Lionesses, scoring twice.
What She Said
Upon her captaincy announcement, she told englandfootball.com: “This is an incredibly proud moment for me and my family and I’m honoured to be asked to lead us at the Euros.
“Steph Houghton is one of this country’s all-time greats and to follow in her footsteps – and all of those special names who have led the team in the past – means so much.
“Although I will be wearing the armband, I know we have a squad full of leaders who share my pride and passion in playing for our country. Whether I’m captain or not, I will never take anything for granted and will always do my best for England every time I pull on the shirt.”
Wiegman Knows What It Takes to Win the Competition
The last Euros took place in 2017 when Wiegman led her Netherlands side to glory, beating England in the semi-finals on the way to that success.
Wiegman now leads England into the competitions with hopes of the same outcome as she brought her home country.
She said, after appointing Williamson as captain for the competition: “Leah has been a great leader for us and I know she will continue to set the example we need in her work on and off the pitch. While I know this is significant news for our fans, for me the most important thing is that we work hard in training and perform to the best we can in our matches. The main thing is we are ready for our World Cup qualifiers and then the Euros this summer.
“I would also like to give a special tribute to Steph (Houghton). She has been a wonderful captain but this decision gives us continuity at this important final period as we build towards the tournament. It is important we give everyone clarity at this stage.
“Leah joins a proud list of England captains and will be following in the footsteps of the likes of our first captain Sheila Parker all the way through to Steph who have all been integral for the women’s game.”
What’s on the Agenda for England
In this international break, England face trips to North Macedonia and Northern Ireland in World Cup qualifying. Wiegman’s side should be confident having won 8-0 and 4-0 in the home games against the sides, respectively. The Lionesses have a perfect record in their qualifying group, winning six games out of six and scoring a remarkable 53 goals without reply. They are five points clear of second-placed Austria.
Earlier today, it was confirmed that Niamh Charles and Bethany England had withdrawn from the England camp after testing positive for Covid-19.
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