Wiegman is happy that WSL aces are getting more playing time but says selection for the Lionesses’ service is not guaranteed
SARINA WIEGMAN warns there are no guaranteed Lionesses spots after skipping Bethany England and Jordan Nobbs ahead of this month’s Arnold Clark Cup.
And the head coach believes it’s “too early” to consider a World Cup season without Beth Mead.
Nobbs and Tottenham ace England, 28, are the notable top stars missing from the Lionesses boss’ group of 26.
Nikita Parris, 28, Lucy Staniforth and Hannah Hampton, 22, also missed out.
However, the squad announcement sees Laura Coombs, 32, returning to the national team for the first time in just over two years
And Coombs’ call-up comes on a day when the Manchester City midfielder signed a new two-year deal with the club.
Wiegman’s squad selection comes just over a month after the former Blues forward England sealed a Tottenham transfer from Chelsea.
It was a move that reportedly made her WSL’s most expensive British player.
The 2019-20 PFA Player of the Year was looking for a new challenge and more minutes before this summer’s World Cup.
Before joining Spurs, England had made two starts in eight WSL games for the Blues this season.
Since joining, she has scored twice in three games across all competitions.
The goals included a clean finish against their old club in Tottenham’s 3-2 defeat by the holders on Sunday.
And Nobbs and Staniforth, both 30, sealed Aston Villa moves last month, giving them three starts in their top three games for their new club.
Matches in which Villa recorded a win and two draws, including their first WSL point against Man City.
When asked why the trio weren’t in the squad, Wiegman, 53, said: “They’re fighting for selection and they’re in a good spot.
“They’ve moved to clubs and are playing a lot more now, they’re adjusting and that makes it good for competition.
“But you can’t control what your competitors do (for England places) or what choice I will make along with my technical staff.
“And that’s the situation they’re in right now.
“We can at least see where they are now, how they are improving and what their situation is like
“And then we look at how their competitors are performing and then make a choice.
“Yes, it’s good that you get minutes, that makes your position better, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be selected.
“You also have to compete with the others.”
England, winners of last year’s Arnold Clark Cup, will face Korea Republic, Italy and Belgium in this year’s Arnold Clark Cup competition.
When asked if it would be difficult for players to make the squad if they weren’t playing in the tournament, Wiegman added: “Everyone has to prove themselves.
“But we’re going to try some things and see more players that we might not have seen a lot before.
“Everyone has to show consistency in their performances, so that’s not set in stone now.
“But obviously it’s a big step forward because we (have played three games).”
Wiegman’s player selection ahead of the Arnold Clark Cup results in City ace Laura Coombs being called up to the national team for the first time since November 2020.
The selection caps the Kent-born midfield ace’s resurgence on the pitch.
The in-form player, who made just six WSL starts last season, has become a first-team regular for Gareth Taylor.
This season, Coombs has made 12 starts in the 12 top-tier games City have played so far this season.
Wiegman added: “Laura has shown so much consistency at Man City.
“She’s in midfield, but she can also play a little higher and a little lower. We need a little more of that balance in midfield.”
The Lionesses will be without Beth Mead’s services this month when they play Korea Republic, Italy and Belgium.
The Arsenal striker is currently recovering from a knee injury that tore her anterior cruciate ligament last November.
And in January, the Gunners star revealed that her mother June “passed away peacefully” after “a long and brave battle with ovarian cancer.”
Wiegman believes it’s too early to consider a World Cup campaign with the Lionesses without Mead.
The Lionesses head coach added: “It’s a bit early to say but I don’t want to force it.
“She had so many things ahead of her in her life.
“We’ll see that you know how her recovery is going and how the rehab is going.”
Wiegman’s squad selection sees skipper Leah Williamson making her first international return after missing camp last November through injury.
Fran Kirby, Jess Carter, Lauren Hemp and Lucy Bronze are also back after returning to fitness and action at club level.
And shotstopper Emily Ramsey was called up for the England service for the first time in her career.
The Man United goalkeeper, who is on loan at Everton this season, is yet to be capped.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7333976/sarina-wiegman-lionesses-squad-arnold-clark-cup/ Wiegman is happy that WSL aces are getting more playing time but says selection for the Lionesses’ service is not guaranteed