Arsenal forward Beth Mead has reentered the England squad after a year-long absence due to a serious knee injury. Mead, who secured the Golden Boot as England triumphed in Euro 2022, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in November 2022.
Her name has been included in the 23-player squad set to face Women’s Nations League matches next month under the guidance of Sarina Wiegman. England is scheduled to play against the Netherlands at Wembley and then Scotland at Hampden Park.
Manager Wiegman welcomed Mead’s return, stating, “Of course, that’s very pleasing. She has played some minutes and is in good condition, still evolving as well. It was a very pleasant phone call, and she is very happy.”
Wiegman further explained that they have been in communication since before the September and October camps because Mead was already in full training and playing minutes. “Her health is very good, so she can play. She has demonstrated in matches that she is in good form. She is still progressing, but she has shown enough for us to include her.”
In addition to Mead, there are also call-ups for Grace Clinton (20 years old), currently on loan at Tottenham from Manchester United, and Khiara Keating (19 years old), the goalkeeper from Manchester City, who was called up to the squad in October for the first time.
Aston Villa defender Lucy Parker is absent due to an ankle injury, while Manchester City forward Jess Park, Aston Villa striker Ebony Salmon, and experienced midfielder Laura Coombs are among the players not selected for the squad.
England has been designated as the representative for Team GB to secure qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but they must win their Women’s Nations League group to achieve it. Currently, England is in third place in the group, three points behind leaders the Netherlands, whom they will face on December 1.
Wiegman emphasized that this is not the time to experiment, opting for experience over experimentation in squad selection. The squad includes many familiar names, including 16 of the 23 players selected for Euro 2022.z z z z z z z z z z z z
Regarding the goalkeeper position, Ellie Roebuck has received a “hard message” from Wiegman after losing her starting place at Manchester City to 19-year-old Khiara Keating. Despite Roebuck being fully fit, she has not been selected for the England squad this month.
Wiegman explained, “Of course, that’s tough for her, given the position she has at her club now. We did talk to her. In the last camp, we decided to keep four goalkeepers. Now we’ve gone back to three, so I had to give her the hard message that we didn’t pick her for now. She just has to work hard and see if she can find opportunities to play. Right now, in the very short-term, that’s probably not going to happen.”