Beth Mead returns to Lionesses squad for first time since struggling ACL harm
The information comes 364 days after Mead confirmed she had ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) enjoying for Arsenal, an harm which subsequently dominated the Euro 2022 golden boot winner out of this summer season’s World Cup.
The 28-year-old just lately revealed she went via some “very dark moments” as she handled not solely lacking the World Cup as a result of a long-term harm but in addition the lack of her mum, who died in January after a battle with most cancers.
Mead returned to motion with Arsenal final month however England supervisor Sarina Wiegman mentioned she was not prepared for worldwide choice. However, the ahead has since picked up extra minutes for the Gunners and made her first begin of the season in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Brighton within the Women’s Super League.
“Of course that’s really nice,” manager Wiegman said after announcing her squad. “She’s played minutes and is in a good place and still building too. It was a very nice phone call and she was very happy.
“We’ve had phone calls all the time, since September, and October too, because she was training and getting some minutes, but I wanted to see more. Her health now is really good, she can just go. We hope she keeps improving, but she showed enough for me to bring her in.
“She is a character who brings positive energy on and off pitch, her experience, the way she plays, she is different to other players on the wing. We expect on and off pitch it gives us extra energy.”
Mead’s last appearance for the Lionesses came in a 4-0 victory over Japan last November and her return comes at a key time ahead of must-win fixtures against the Netherlands at Wembley on Friday 1 December and Scotland at Hampden Park the following Tuesday.
The Lionesses’ hopes of earning Team GB a spot at next summer’s Olympics Games were dealt a significant blow following a shock defeat in Belgium last month, just the fourth suffered since Wiegman took charge.
It means England trail both the Netherlands and Belgium in Nations League Group A, with three points separating the three sides, leaving the Lionesses requiring victories against the Dutch and Scotland while hoping other results also go their way.
“We know we’ll need to win our last two games of 2023 and we’ll give everything we have for that outcome,” manager Wiegman added. “This group have shown resilience and strength of character time and time again, and I have absolutely no doubts we’ll be ready to go when the whistle blows for both fixtures.
“We always embrace the opportunity to play at Wembley, it’s been home to some of our biggest and happiest occasions. We’ll need the crowd to play their part and continue the incredible backing they’ve shown for the team. They’ve always been there when we need them and we’ll need them once again.
“An away fixture against Scotland is also an occasion we’ll all look forward to, but we’ll take it one game at a time.”
Wiegman has named a 23-player for the clashes against her former side Netherlands and rivals Scotland, with no place for Manchester City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck or Manchester City forward Jess Park, who is replaced by Mead.
Uncapped City goalkeeper Khiara Keating, 19, and Tottenham’s on-loan midfielder Grace Clinton, 20, retain their places after receiving their first call-ups in October’s squad, as does Euros winner Fran Kirby, who marked her return from a year-long injury absence in the home win against Belgium.
England squad for Netherlands and Scotland
Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Chelsea), Khiara Keating (Manchester City)
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Grace Clinton (Tottenham Hotspur, mortgage from Manchester United), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)
Forwards: Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Arsenal)