Beth Mead: Why Arsenal star will be England's key player at Euro 2022

Beth Mead

Beth Mead scored four times for England as they thrashed North Macedonia 10-0 to move one step closer to World Cup qualification. 

The Arsenal forward has been in a rich vein of form for club and country this season and continued this hot streak on Friday night as the Lionesses ran riot in Skopje. 

Manchester United star Ella Toone also scored a hat-trick, while Georgia Stanway struck either side of half-time. 

But it was Mead who rightly grabbed the plaudits as she took her Lionesses goal tally to 20 in just 35 appearances. 

The 26-year-old is becoming an integral part of Sarina Wiegman’s side and has almost guaranteed a spot in England’s squad for Euro 2022. 

Another England hat-trick 

Remarkably, this was the third time Mead has scored at least three goals in a match for England during this qualifying campaign. 

Against Northern Ireland last October, Mead came on as a second-half substitute and scored three times in just 14 minutes, while another treble against Lativa soon followed. 

And her goals against North Macedonia have now taken her tally in qualifying to 12, along with nine assists. 

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright lauded Mead after the game and stressed she is someone who ‘always contributes’ in every game. 

The thing with Beth is that she’s always going to be in the box. She’s a massive goal threat against any calibre of team,” he told ITV.

“She’s been doing that all season for Arsenal and for England. A player of her calibre, in some of those qualifying games, she is going to score those goals. But she always contributes.”

A turnaround in fortunes 

A year ago, Mead was snubbed by former England interim boss Hege Riise and was left out of Great Britain’s squad for the Tokyo Olympics. 

And when Arsenal signed Nikita Parris, Tobin Heath and Mana Iwabuchi at the start of this season, many thought the 26-year-old would struggle for game time. 

Yet, a double against Chelsea at the Emirates on the opening weekend marked the start of her purple patch and the forward has proved herself undroppable for club and country ever since. 

“I probably never thought I would have scored a hat-trick in all these qualifiers,” Mead admitted.

“I just channelled my disappointment in the correct way. It’s motivated me this season to do more on and off the pitch. I’m enjoying my football and hopefully that’s showing.

“I’m a confident player. The England team I’m a part of is an amazing one. We’re creating a lot of chances and I’m lucky enough to get on the end of them.”

England’s most crucial attacker 

Mead has not only consolidated her place back in the England side but is arguably one of the first names on the teamsheet.

England have a plethora of attacking options to choose from but Mead seemingly offers more of a goal threat than most right now. 

Parris has struggled for goals this season, while Lauren Hemp has scored just four times for England in 18 appearances. 

Toone, who also scored a hat-trick against North Macedonia, is a more than capable winger but seems to be preferred in the number 10 position. The same can be also said of Fran Kirby, who is injured at present. 

With the Euros fast approaching, Mead is surely in line to start England’s opener against Austria and given her goal-scoring run at the moment, don’t be surprised if this proves to be a memorable summer for the Arsenal star.

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