England manager Sarina Wiegman has named her 28-player provisional squad ahead of Euro 2022.
This will then be cut down to 23 players in mid-June, in advance of UEFA’s deadline on June 26th.
After being named as skipper for the tournament earlier this year, Leah Williamson is joined by vice-captains Millie Bright and Ellen White, who will all certainly be on the final roster.
There are some pleasant surprises and key talking points in this initial list, so GiveMeSport Women has listed five main takeaways from Wiegman’s selection.
England boss Sarina Wiegman has announced her provisional Euro 2022 squad 🏆
This will be cut down to a 23-player squad in mid-June ✂️
Steph Houghton, Fran Kirby, Lucy Staniforth and Chloe Kelly and Sandy MacIver return to the fold, but Jordan Nobbs misses out with injury 🚑 pic.twitter.com/F2FrkUEj8R— GiveMeSportW (@GiveMeSportW) May 17, 2022
Manchester City duo return
After a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to an Achilles injury, Manchester City captain Steph Houghton has returned to the international set up.
The defender has been absent for eight months, with a return date still to be confirmed.
She did not feature in City’s FA Cup final clash against Chelsea at the weekend but was instead filmed watching from the sidelines.
The fact she has been listed in the provisional England squad suggests she may be fit in time for Euro 2022, but will she make the final cut ahead of the tournament?
Another Man City star who has returned to action is Chloe Kelly, who picked up an ACL injury in May 2021 and made her comeback last month after almost a year out.
Prior to her injury, the forward notched ten goals and finished the 2020/21 Women’s Super League season with the joint-highest amount of assists with 11.
After scoring in both the league and FA Cup in recent weeks, it was like Kelly had never been away. Her talent has clearly remained on Wiegman’s radar even during her lengthy injury spell.
Fran Kirby called up
Another piece of good news is the return of Fran Kirby, who has not played since February.
Last month, Emma Hayes declared the England international would not “be available for club or country for the foreseeable future” due to fatigue struggles.
However, Kirby was an unused substitute for Chelsea during the FA Cup Final. Now, she has been called upon for international duty, which is huge news considering there was no clear return in sight just one month ago.
If Kirby’s fitness is up to scratch and she makes the 23-player squad, this will be a remarkable turn round for the Chelsea star.
Jordan Nobbs misses out
One name missing from the provisional squad is Jordan Nobbs, who has been ruled out for the summer due to a knee injury.
The midfielder’s time on the pitch has been scarce this season and she was also snubbed of a spot at the Arnold Clark Cup earlier this year.
Injuries have been an ongoing problem for Nobbs over the past few years. After suffering ACL damage in 2018 which forced her to miss the World Cup, she picked up a serious ankle injury in 2021.
Now, injury strikes again for the Arsenal icon. She will miss the opportunity to represent the Lionesses on home soil this summer.
As well as plentiful options in attack, Wiegman is spoilt for choice between the sticks.
During the Arnold Clark Cup, the England boss rotated her choice of goalkeeper for each match, allowing Ellie Roebuck, Mary Earps and Hannah Hampton an opportunity to perform.
All three played a big part in their country’s Cup win, which leaves Wiegman with the dilemma of who will be the first choice shot-stopper for the Euros.
As well as the Arnold Clark Cup trio, Everton’s Sandy MacIver has been named in the provisional squad, adding another option to the manager’s envious yet equally frustrating headache.
Who will be cut from the final list?
The current England squad is stacked high with talent and bumping five players off this list is not going to be an easy decision for Wiegman.
Realistically, one of the four goalkeepers will more than likely miss out on a spot, as well as a forward player.
Those who have recently returned from injury or illness could also risk not making the cut if their fitness levels don’t hold up during this testing period.
It’s definitely not going to be a simple choice for Wiegman, but her final 23-player Euros squad is expected to be finalised next month.