While the England side’s victory at Euro 2022 made them a household name last summer, the Lionesses have a very different look ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
Jill Scott and Ellen White have both retired, while Beth Meade, Leah Williamson and Fran Kirby missed the Australian and New Zealand tournaments due to injuries.
This opens the door for six players to make their big tournament debuts this summer. So who’s the newcomer to Salina Wiegman’s 23-man roster?
“She’s a very unique and talented player.”
Lauren James scored his first goal for England in the Arnold Clark Cup against South Korea in February.
Lauren James, 21, has had a season to ignore for Chelsea after missing a season from the Euro 2022 squad after a two-year injury layoff.
“When I saw the Euros last summer and went to the final, I knew I definitely wanted to go to the final this summer, so it gave me a little more motivation and a little bit more hunger,” James said.
She scored more than eight goals in 33 appearances, and it was the boundless creativity and directness of her game that caught James’ eye as soon as she stepped onto the field. That’s why her critics and teammates alike are calling her the next women’s soccer superstar.
Chelsea and England team-mate Niamh Charles said: “She’s very honored to be able to play with her every day.” “She is a very unique and talented player. “She’s very comfortable on either foot, so I don’t really know which one is stronger. If we give her the ball, she’ll hold the ball and turn the players around.” You know, it’s very special and hopefully it will be a weapon for us.”
“I have a deadline that I will not honor”
“I have an upcoming deadline that I won’t meet, so maybe I should ask for an extension!” Esme Morgan, 22, a sport and exercise science student at Manchester Metropolitan University.
When not at the university library, Morgan is a key player for Manchester City, able to operate as a centre-back, right-back and midfielder.
Her Euro hopes last summer were dashed with a broken leg in the 2021-22 season, but she has regained fitness and form and will be a useful member of the team. under.
“On those tough days when you’re injured and feel like you’ve failed, there’s a part of me that thinks ‘will I ever be the same player?'” Morgan said. “But when I came back and realized that I felt better than ever, the World Cup was definitely the goal that I had in mind. I am very happy.”
“England is the dream – I made it!”
Katie Zelem joined Manchester United for the first time at the age of 10 – last season she led them to the FA Cup final
Manchester United captain, striker and staging expert Katie Zelem was absent from last year’s Euro squad after making Wiegman’s initial long list.
Retirement and the injuries of others helped Zelem secure a spot in the 2023 World Cup, following a stellar campaign in which she played a key role in leading United to their top spot at Women’s. Super League and qualified for the Champions League for the first time.
When asked if being called up to the World Cup would be a dream come true, Zelem said:
“One million percent. If you ask someone and they say no, they’re lying. “England was a dream, but when I was 22, 23, I didn’t feel it was going to happen. At 27, I did it!”
It was the end of a long journey for Zelem, who played for United as a youngster before moving to Liverpool and Juventus. She returned from Italy when United entered the Women’s Soccer League in 2018 and has been here almost since.