Leah Williamson made her return to the Arsenal squad for the first time in the WSL since suffering an ACL injury last year but remained on the bench as an unused substitute.
The Lionesses defender had already marked her comeback for the Gunners in the Conti Cup against Reading after a 280-day absence due to her demanding recovery process from the injury. In that match, she not only received playing time but also contributed by providing an assist for her international teammate Beth Mead. However, Williamson did not make her WSL return in the 2-0 victory over Liverpool. Following the game, head coach Eidevall disclosed the reason for the central defender’s absence from the pitch.
“You always have a plan, Leah was available to play today but not for many minutes. Sometimes that opportunity comes and sometimes, today, I felt we needed other things to manage the game. It’s not going to be in reserve, we don’t need to push. Now she has the opportunity for a great training week ahead of her and competing for minutes against West Ham.”
Eidvall reveals the plan to eas Williamson back from her ACL injury
Eidevall did reveal his delight at having his key defender back in the ranks, though: “It’s incredible, i said to the squad afterwards what a privilege it is to work with a squad of this quality. To see the players we start and the quality they have and see the players we bring on and even the players that don’t come on and how much quality I know they have. They, at this moment, probably don’t feel that it’s amazing per se that they don’t come in but it puts us in a strong position if we want to compete in all competitions.
“I think we have been slow starters after the winter break so we tried to change, we went to Portugal and we played a friendly game and I think we manage this winter break the best of the three seasons I have been here and we need to continue.”
Arsenal is undoubtedly pleased to have Leah Williamson back in the team, especially as they currently occupy the third position in the league standings, trailing behind Chelsea and Manchester City. They share the same point total with Manchester City and are just three points behind Emma Hayes’ Chelsea side, who currently lead the league.