Williamson returns as Wiegman names England squad for Arnold Clark Cup


arina Wiegman has named uncapped Everton goalkeeper Emily Ramsey in her 26-player squad for the Arnold Clark Cup this month, while captain Leah Williamson returns.

Ramsey features for the first time having previously played for every England age group at youth level. She has only started half of Everton’s WSL matches so far this season but has performed well when called upon.

England won the inaugural edition of the Arnold Clark Cup last year after drawing with Canada and Spain and beating Germany in a precursor to last year’s European Championships final. This time they face South Korea, Italy and Belgium all on home soil.

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Asked whether this squad is likely to mirror the group she takes to Australia and New Zealand for the World Cup in July, Wiegman said: “We’re going to try out some things and see some players that we might not have seen a lot of before. It’s not set in stone now.”

Midfielder Laura Coombs, who has just signed a two-year contract extension with Manchester City, returns following more than two years in the international wilderness. The 32-year-old made her Lionesses senior debut back in 2015.

Captain Leah Williamson is fit again after missing the November camp in which England beat Japan 4-0 and drew 1-1 draw with Norway in Spain. Lucy Bronze, Fran Kirby and Lauren Hemp also return. Beth Mead is still out with an ACL injury that makes her a doubt for the World Cup.

Everton’s Gabby George, Esme Morgan of Manchester City and Manchester United’s Nikita Parris drop out of the squad having all featured in November.

“The world after the Euros changed a little bit,” Wiegman said. “We have to adapt to that new situation. I think we were favourites and we have to be aware of that but we want to improve too. This is a step next week again: to show that and to improve our style of play again and to get more information on the players.”

England host South Korea in Milton Keynes on 16 February, face Italy in Coventry three days later, and finish the campaign against Belgium at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate on 22 February.

England squad in full

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

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 Zelem

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

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