Arsenal have confirmed that Victoria Pelova has sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury while on international duty with the Netherlands. 

The 25-year-old, who scored two goals and provided seven assists during the 2023–24 Women's Super League campaign for the Gunners, is expected to undergo surgery in the coming days, but it is not the first time an Arsenal player has suffered an injury of this nature. 

England pair Beth Mead and Leah Williamson were forced to miss the 2023 Women's World Cup, with Pelova's compatriot Vivianne Miedema also missing out on the tournament in Australia because of the same issue. 

In a statement, Arsenal said: "Victoria was substituted after her knee extended in the 12th minute of the Netherlands' UEFA Women's Championship qualifier in Tampere, Finland, and subsequently underwent testing to determine the extent of the injury.

"She will undergo surgery in due course and will be sidelined for an extended period."

Pelova was one of the Gunners' most influential players during their third-place finish in the WSL, creating 30 chances from her 22 appearances, the third-highest in the squad behind Mead and Katie McCabe, as Arsenal finished third, while also winning the Women's League Cup. 

ACL injuries have become a major problem for the women’s game and in April a new three-year project researching them was launched.

Sarina Wiegman rued England's sloppyness from set-pieces, as the Lionesses' Euro 2025 qualifying hopes were dented by a 2-1 defeat to France.

England suffered their first home defeat in a qualifying match since October 2002 with Les Bleues - ironically the last nation to inflict such a loss - coming from behind to prevail at St James' Park.

The reigning European champions had the opportunity to leapfrog France to the Group A3 summit and, despite losing goalkeeper Mary Earps to injury early on, the hosts appeared on course to do just that when Beth Mead opened the scoring after half an hour.

However, they were undone by set-pieces in both halves, as goals from Elisa De Almeida and Marie-Antoinette Katoto completed the turnaround in the visitors' favour.

The Lionesses, who travel to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard for the return meeting on Tuesday, slip to third place in Group A3. And though Wiegman hailed the overall performance, she acknowledged her side must improve.

"It was frustrating," she told ITV Sport. "I think we played pretty well, we conceded two goals from set plays, which we have to do a lot better on.

"In these matches, you don't get too many chances. In the first half, we created multiple, but only scored one - and they unfortunately scored one too.

"We were more on the ball in the second half without creating too many more chances, but we were dangerous. The final pass needed to be better.

"We know France are really good at set-pieces. Of course, we were prepared, but they still got that time."

Skipper Leah Williamson added: "[We're] really disappointed, the game was there to be won. It was a fantastic occasion. The fans have never let us down, so it's a shame not to give them a win as well.

"We played well, not good enough to win the game, but the chances were there to win it. Two set-pieces have killed us. There's an element of luck to those things, but first contact and second contact need to be better. We will be better on Tuesday."

Leah Williamson has put pen to paper on a new deal at Arsenal, extending her 19-year stay with the Gunners.

The England defender, who was eight years old when she had her first trial at the club, has agreed fresh terms with the Women's Super League side.

Williamson returned to action in February following a lengthy lay-off with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, which forced her to miss the Lionesses' run to the 2023 Women's World Cup final.

The 27-year-old, who skippered England to Euro 2022 glory, has made 232 appearances for Arsenal, winning the Women's Super League as well as the FA Cup and League Cup on two occasions.

"Everyone knows what Arsenal means to me, but I think every time I sign a new contract, I feel that love ignite all over again," she told the club's official website.

"I'm very happy to be staying. This is a place where I can still continue to grow, develop and be challenged. As a group, we're all very focused on bringing more silverware to this club and I can't wait to get started again when the new season comes around."

"Leah is an essential part of our team, so we're delighted she has signed a new contract with us," Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall added. "She brings us so much on and off the pitch - leadership, accountability and commitment.

"Leah has a special bond with Arsenal, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work together to bring more success to this great club."

Clare Wheatley, the club's director of women's football, said: "Leah's connection with Arsenal runs so deep. I can remember her as a girl in our academy many years ago, and I'm so proud of the determined, passionate woman she has become.

"We're thrilled that Leah has signed a new deal here, and I know our supporters will join me in congratulating her today."

Defending champions England kicked off their Euro 2025 qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against Sweden in front of 63,248 at Wembley.

Alessia Russo nodded home Lauren James’ delivery to open the scoring inside 24 minutes, and the Lionesses managed to preserve their lead at the break despite Sweden threatening.

An equaliser felt imminent after the interval, and finally came when Fridolina Rolfo headed past Mary Earps, while the Lionesses were lucky not to fall behind when Arsenal’s Stina Blackstenius squandered a good chance for Sweden.

Euro 2022 captain Leah Williamson watched on from the bench as Beth Mead and Lauren Hemp led a late rally, but could not find the finishing touch as the sides settled for a point.

Williamson missed out on the Lionesses’ historic World Cup campaign last summer after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament, and was also forced to pull out of February’s friendlies with a hamstring issue after being named in her first England side in 11 months.

The 27-year-old made her Gunners comeback in January but the journey has not been smooth with her most recent setback coming during Sunday’s League Cup final, which she started with a taped-up knee before being replaced in the second half.

Grace Clinton tried to volley England into an early lead, and there was worry for Sarina Wiegman when Russo went down after clattering into former Chelsea skipper Magdalena Eriksson, receiving lengthy treatment to her lower leg before she was deemed fit to continue.

Barcelona’s Rolfo came close with Sweden’s first good chance, sending Earps sprawling with a low effort that edged just wide of the far post minutes before Russo broke the deadlock.

It began with a fine effort by James to control the ball at the edge of the area and deliver a pinpoint clipped cross to the awaiting Russo, who stooped to head home in the 24th minute.

Sweden looked to reply on several occasions and largely looked the more threatening side in the half’s closing stages, but England clung on to their lead as Wiegman made her first change, swapping Clinton for Ella Toone, before Lucy Bronze had a weak header simply saved by Jennifer Falk.

Sweden boss Peter Gerhardsson made a pair of his own changes, a move that proved prescient when England momentarily switched off and allowed substitute Rosa Kafaji to make an instant impact, delivering the cross for Rolfo to nod past Earps.

England were lucky not to concede a quick second when Arsenal’s Blackstenius, who netted the winner in the Gunners’ Conti Cup final, found herself one-on-one with Earps but directed her effort wide.

On came more Euro 2022 stars – that tournament’s Golden Boot winner Mead in place of James and Chloe Kelly, who memorably scored the winner in that tournament’s final, while Jess Carter replaced Chelsea team-mate Niamh Charles.

The Lionesses had less than 10 minutes to alter the outcome, and they came close when Hemp latched on to the rebound of her own effort and fired a shot that Falk, who had slide out to make the initial save, would have had no chance of stopping.

It took a well-placed Eriksson to clear off the line, the stalemate standing after a fine save from Falk to deny Mead and preserve the point.

England coach Sarina Wiegman believes Leah Williamson is ready to make her long-awaited return in Friday’s Euro 2025 qualifier against Sweden.

Williamson trained on her own on Tuesday after coming off at half-time of Arsenal’s Conti Cup final win over Chelsea on Sunday.

But she trained with the group on Wednesday and if she makes it through Thursday’s session unscathed she will be in contention to make her first international appearance in 12 months as the Lionesses begin their qualification campaign.

She has not featured for her country since suffering an ACL injury last April, having pulled out of a training squad in March with a hamstring strain.

“We need to manage it a little bit. She had a full training session on Wednesday, she will be on the pitch today (Thursday), so that looks really good,” Wiegman said.

“We know where she has come from, she is still building but she is in a good place and she is ready, if she comes through today OK.

“It’s just really good that she is back, first of all for herself because she is so excited to come back, that means she is fit, it is good to have a quality player in the squad.

“We are in a good place already and now we are in an even better place.”

Williamson, who returned to club duty in January, captained the Lionesses to glory in Euro 2022 and Wiegman said she would resume her leadership duties if she was selected at Wembley.

“We have another training session. Leah is our team captain – that will not change, but we want to get through this training session first and then see what final decision we make tomorrow,” the Dutchwoman added.

“If she plays, she would be captain, we just want to get through the training session and see how she is and how the team is. She needs that team environment from where she has come.”

Wiegman was asked for her opinion on Emma Hayes’ confrontation with Gunners counterpart Jonas Eidevall after that final at Molineux.

The Chelsea boss said after the game that male aggression was a problem in the women’s game, but Wiegman did not bite.

“It was a great final, very competitive, so the emotion builds up,” she said.

“I haven’t been there in that situation so I really don’t want to comment about that one day before the most important game in a couple of months for us.”

England midfielder Grace Clinton is excited to “hit the ground running” as the Lionesses start their European Championship qualifying campaign this week.

The defending European champions kick off against Sweden at Wembley on Friday before facing Republic of Ireland in Dublin four days later.

England then play France at St James’ Park in May and Tottenham loanee Clinton believes the side will need to be on “top form”.

“It was drawn right after the last camp, it’s a really competitive group but that’s always going to happen when you’re in such an amazing tournament,” Clinton told a press conference.

“I think we’re all really excited to get started to be honest and hit the ground running.

“(Sweden are) another team that has amazing depth and are a really strong side, they’re very physical and quite direct, score goals. So we’re going to have to be on top form if we want to get a result against a team like that.”

Clinton has two senior England caps under her belt already having made her debut in two friendlies in Spain, which included a debut goal in the Lionesses’ 7-2 victory over Austria.

After impressing in Spain, the 21-year-old will be aiming for more minutes in this month’s qualifiers and believes she has gained more confidence since making her senior bow.

She said: “It brings so much more confidence, in the lead up to getting your first cap you’re always going to be very nervous and now that you’ve been out with the girls on the pitch and really gone in the deep end it just feels a lot more natural when you’re in training.

“You have far more confidence to express yourself each time.”

Captain Leah Williamson is aiming to make her international comeback in the upcoming matches.

A post on the official Lionesses X account confirmed the defender was following an “individualised session” on Tuesday and Clinton is looking forward to seeing Williamson back on the pitch.

“It’s my first camp with Leah back in and she’s one of the best in the sport isn’t she? So it’s amazing to have her back,” she said.

“Obviously she’s getting integrated slowly and we’re only a couple of days in, so it’ll be really nice to get her back with the team on the pitch.”

Leah Williamson is part of the England squad for next month’s Euro 2025 qualifiers against Sweden and the Republic of Ireland.

The Arsenal defender returned to the international fold in February for the first time in nine months having recovered from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, but subsequently had to withdraw before friendlies against Austria and Italy due to a hamstring issue.

Chelsea’s Fran Kirby is also back, having missed the games in February after pulling up in the pre-Austria warm-up with a knee problem, while club mate Millie Bright remains out injured.

Maya Le Tissier misses out, with fellow Manchester United defender Millie Turner retaining her spot after being a late call-up in February, replacing Williamson, and making her debut against Italy.

Euro 2022 winners England open their bid to qualify for next summer’s tournament in Switzerland by facing Sweden at Wembley a week on Friday before continuing their Group A3 matches against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin four days later. The pool also features France.

Boss Sarina Wiegman, who saw her side beat Austria 7-2 and Italy 5-1 in last month’s games, said in a statement from the Football Association: “There’s no time to waste.

“February’s window showed who we are and where we want to go and we’ll look to continue that momentum from the minute we arrive at St. George’s Park next week.

“We know it’s a challenging group, but it’s really exciting. These are all big games that will test us and that’s the kind of fixtures we want to play in.

“Every opponent we face is a top nation and we know we have to perform at our best to achieve our goals. We’ll be ready for Sweden at Wembley.

“Wembley has been the home of some of our biggest moments together and it holds such special memories. It’s no coincidence that we feel inspired when we play there. The fans have provided such fantastic support every time and there’s no doubt they can help us again against Sweden.”

Leah Williamson has withdrawn from her first England squad since last April due to injury, with Millie Turner called up in place of the Euro 2022-winning captain.

Arsenal described the 26-year-old’s problem as a “minor hamstring injury” ahead of Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United, less than a month after Williamson returned to action for the Gunners following a nine-month recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament rupture.

World Cup runners-up England travel to Spain on Monday ahead of two friendlies against Austria and Italy, with Manchester United defender Turner replacing Williamson in Sarina Wiegman’s squad.

A Football Association statement read: “Millie Turner has been called up to the England squad for this month’s fixtures with Austria and Italy being played in southern Spain.

“The Manchester United defender replaces Leah Williamson, who has withdrawn after missing out for Arsenal at the weekend with an injury.”

England boss Sarina Wiegman is happy to have Leah Williamson back in her squad.

Williamson has been named in a 23-player group for friendlies against Austria and Italy in Spain later this month.

It marks a first return to the Lionnesses’ camp for the 26-year-old since she suffered an ACL injury last April, which ruled her out of last summer’s World Cup.

Wiegman said: “It is really nice, especially for her, she is back, she is gaining minutes at Arsenal, doing well, she is happy at Arsenal and they are of course happy too.

“It is really nice to have her back because she is a very good player, even though she has been out for months, now she has come back her decision-making is still really good.

“She is still building. The team picked up very well, players stepped up but it is still really nice to have her back.”

Williamson captained her country to Euro 2022 success, but Wiegman did not say whether she will still have the armband.

“I have to talk to the players first about that,” she said.

“We come in and we have to start again, we will revisit that and have a conversation with the players first.”

There was no room in the squad for in-form Manchester United forward Nikita Parris, who has been overlooked despite scoring 15 goals in the last 16 matches for her club.

Wiegman spoke to the 29-year-old to explain her decision but says she has tough choices to make.

“The competition up front is really high, in the autumn she didn’t play much,” Wiegman said. “Since the new year she has played in the nine position and has done really well, of course we have noticed that too.

“We have had a little chat and I hope she shows consistency because we are talking about her again but I made some other choices now for this camp.

“With the players we have, they have done well so it was a hard decision.

“I had conversations with her in the autumn, that was a different situation. I had a short conversation with her yesterday and I explained a little bit and that is now just the way it is.

“We have many players up front, it is so competitive that I have to make choices and some players who are doing really well will be kept out. She is available and she knows we are watching her closely.”

The Lionesses take on Austria on February 23 and Italy four days later.

Leah Williamson is back in the England squad for the first time since recovering from injury.

The 26-year-old, who has won 46 caps and captained the Lionesses to Euro 2022 glory, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury last April and missed the World Cup, but returned to action with Arsenal recently and gets the call-up from Sarina Wiegman.

Millie Bright and Bethany England are out injured while there is no room for Nikita Parris despite a good run of form for Manchester United.

Leah Williamson’s first start in nine months could not inspire Arsenal to victory as their Women’s Super League title hopes suffered a setback with a 2-1 defeat at West Ham.

The England captain was back in the starting line-up for the first time since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury and looked set to enjoy a winning return when Arsenal edged in front just before the break through Alessia Russo’s back-post header.

Williamson was replaced at half-time and the Hammers were given an opportunity to equalise when Steph Catley brought down Riko Ueki inside the area. Viviane Asseyi stepped up and sent Manuela Zinsberger the wrong way to make it 1-1.

West Ham completed the turnaround in the 58th minute after a free-kick was headed back out to Hawa Cissoko, who finished expertly to give the hosts back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

Nikita Parris bagged a brace as Manchester United earned a second consecutive win with a 2-0 victory over Brighton.

United were quick out of the blocks and opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Parris lashed home from Geyse’s low cross.

Parris was on the score sheet again midway through the second half in carbon copy fashion to the first as Geyse delivered a cross following some neat footwork down the right and Parris finished first time to condemn Brighton to their second successive defeat without scoring.

Manchester City left it late as Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly scored twice in the final eight minutes to beat Leicester 2-0.

City dominated the contest throughout but the Foxes stubborn defence held firm until the 82nd minute when Hemp’s acrobatic finish rolled into the back of the net.

They sealed victory three minutes later in superb fashion when Kelly whipped in directly from a corner for their 10th victory of the season.

Marie Hobinger scored in stoppage time to earn Liverpool a 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

Celine Bizet’s 72nd-minute strike looked set to send Tottenham above Liverpool in the table, but they failed to extend their lead as they missed golden opportunities through Wang Shuang and Amanda Nilden’s effort which struck a post.

And Liverpool made them pay at the death when Leanne Kiernan cut the ball back for Hobinger, who found the bottom corner.

Leah Williamson’s first start in nine months could not inspire Arsenal to victory as their Women’s Super League title hopes suffered a setback with a 2-1 defeat at West Ham.

The England captain was back in the starting line-up for the first time since returning from an anterior cruciate ligament injury and looked set to enjoy a winning return when Arsenal edged in front just before the break through Alessia Russo’s back-post header.

Williamson was replaced at the break and the Hammers were given an opportunity to equalise when Steph Catley brought down Riko Ueki inside the area – Viviane Asseyi stepped up and sent Manuela Zinsberger the wrong way to make it 1-1.

West Ham completed the turnaround in the 58th minute after a free-kick was headed back out to Hawa Cissoko, who finished expertly to give the hosts back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

Nikita Parris bagged a brace as Manchester United earned a second consecutive win with a 2-0 victory over Brighton.

United were quick out of the blocks and opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Parris lashed home from Geyse’s low cross.

Parris was on the scoresheet again midway through the second half in carbon copy fashion to the first as Geyse delivered a cross following some neat footwork down the right and Parris first-time finished to condemn Brighton to their second successive defeat without scoring.

Manchester City left it late as Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly scored twice in the final eight minutes to beat Leicester 2-0.

City dominated the contest throughout but the Foxes stubborn defence held firm until the 82nd minute when Hemp’s acrobatic finish rolled into the back of the net.

They sealed victory three minutes later in superb fashion when Kelly whipped in directly from a corner for their 10th victory of the season.

England and Arsenal defender Leah Williamson has said she “is more focused than ever to be back on the pitch” after being made an OBE at Windsor Castle.

Williamson was forced to miss this summer’s World Cup, where the Lionesses finished runners-up, after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament in April.

The 26-year-old, who captained the Lionesses to the European Championship title last summer, told the PA news agency: “I’ve made some good steps. I’m running again now. We are in a great place.

“Days like today I can celebrate them properly with my family but I am more focused than ever to be back on the pitch.”

Williamson said she could feel like “a new signing for my team” when she returns from injury.

She said she had “a bit of a catch up” with the Prince of Wales after recently seeing him at a United Nations summit in New York.

Williamson became the first England women’s footballer to address the United Nations when she spoke at the Sustainability Development Goals Summit.

She said she has spoken to the Prince recently about making “my game grow” and how the women’s game can be integrated with men’s football.

When asked about speaking at the United Nations summit, she said: “We have made so much impact on the pitch and it’s obviously important we do that off the pitch as well.

“There were a lot of things I’d spoken to people about and that I really wanted to give my time to and I’ve been able to do that while I’ve been injured.

“It’s not my preferred choice, I’d love to have shin pads and boots on on the pitch but while I’m not out (there) I want to still try and have an impact and do what we do just in a different way.”

Williamson said she hopes women’s football “continues to shift” and there are more games at big stadiums so “we have a chance to prove that the game belongs there”.

But she warned women’s footballers are “running ourselves into the ground to try and compete” because of a busy schedule.

She said: “I think everybody wants to protect their bit of the game but ultimately something has to give in the end and I had team-mates this year that after a World Cup final had five days off.

“It’s not acceptable. It’s not favourable to the players, and ultimately, we’re the only ones that lose out. It’s our bodies on the line.”

Injured England captain Leah Williamson says she would give her other ACL for her team-mates to win the World Cup in her absence this summer.

The Lionesses travel to Australia and New Zealand next month aiming to build on their Euro 2022 success, but do so without Williamson after she suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament playing for Arsenal in April.

Williamson, who, in partnership with immersive football entertainment venue TOCA Social, is fronting the ‘Momentum’ campaign aimed at driving participation in the women’s game, is willing to go to extreme lengths to see Sarina Wiegman’s team claim glory Down Under.

 

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“I’d give my other ACL for England to win the World Cup,” she said. “That’s what I’ll believe in until it isn’t (possible).”

If the Lionesses can win the World Cup for the first time, they will build on the incredible legacy created by winning the European Championship last summer.

That victory on home soil has seen participation numbers of young girls playing the game rise, but there is still a way to go.

TOCA Social’s ‘Momentum’ campaign will see the venue – based at London’s O2 – allocate a set number of playing boxes for women to play as well as a dedicated ‘women’s hour’ in the hope of bringing a minimum of 50,000 women through the doors to participate in the game through both playing and watching football.

Williamson, 26, says she would have loved such access when she was growing up.

“If I’d have had something like this, it would have been better for me,” she added in her position as lead consultant for female participation at TOCA Social. “I didn’t want to go down to the park and get muddy if I was going to get muddy at the weekend, I just wasn’t that kid, I didn’t want to be out until all hours on the street.

“If I’d have had something like this, I’d have lapped it up.”

On the ‘women’s hour’ innovation, she said: “If I told my mates to come down they wouldn’t because they’d just get laughed at by men, or that’s what they would feel would happen.

“The conversations I have are more about the social perception of it rather than the actual access anymore. All the right things are in place, it’s that social conversation around the game and the normalisation.”

Williamson says that throughout the Lionesses’ journey over recent years, the number one priority has been to secure a legacy for the women’s game in this country.

She said: “Before every tournament you sit down as a team and you outline the goals and what you want to achieve. And different things have come up – be the number one team in the world, winning is obviously up there, but the thing that always comes up is to leave a legacy.

“We realised in the Euros we knew that the biggest impact we could have would be if we won, then it gets to us being in a position to win it and it was like, ‘What are we going to do now for the legacy?’ and that was more important to all of us.

“We’d opened all of these doors for young girls, they need to be able to walk through them and know that they can and those two things together are what we’ll look back on in 15 years’ time.

“I’ll remember those moments and remember the party we had after we won, but that is what will stick with me, that’s what we did and that’s what we left behind.”

England captain Leah Williamson gave a brutal assessment of the serious knee injury that has ruled her out of the Women's World Cup, saying: "Ultimately, I think it's just my time."

The 26-year-old, who led England to Euro 2022 glory, has become the latest Arsenal player to suffer a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

Her misfortune follows that of England striker Beth Mead and Netherlands forward Vivianne Miedema, club-mates of Williamson who are also both set to miss the July-August tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

It is an injury that is far more prevalent in the women's game than among men, and Williamson is struggling to express her sorrow over the crushing blow she has suffered. She may not play again this year.

She issued a statement shortly after Arsenal confirmed the severity of the injury, which was sustained in Arsenal's 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Women's Super League on Wednesday, when Williamson caught her studs in the turf at Leigh Sports Village.

Pained by the situation that has been sprung on her, Williamson said: "Until I have the words to express my feelings properly I will struggle to verbalise them. The noise around the situation is loud and I need some quiet to let it all sink in.

"Unfortunately the World Cup and Champions League dream is over for me and everyone will think that's the main focus, but it's the day to day of what I'm about to go through that is the most draining of my thoughts.

"I had my tears and made my peace with it the night it happened and since then I have been following the steps I'm told to, in order to best help myself in the short and long term.

"Ultimately, I think it's just my time. In the past couple of years alone I have watched team-mates beat serious illnesses and adversity with the biggest of smiles on their faces.

"I also hold perspective that globally there are much greater difficulties and therefore my circumstances right now are just that, circumstantial, and I've seen a lot worse."

England team-mates Chloe Kelly, Fran Kirby, Keira Walsh, Ella Toone and Alessia Russo were among those to send messages of support, with Williamson having led the Lionesses to Finalissima glory against Brazil just two weeks ago.

Arsenal have a Champions League semi-final coming up against Wolfsburg, as they bid to become European champions for a second time, and Williamson's blow hurts their hopes there.

Clearly, Williamson has suffered an immense misfortune and her reaction is that of a player in shock, although she gave an insight into the stark reality of a modern footballing life by revealing the stress her body and mind has been under in recent months.

She wrote in an Instagram post: "I haven't had a day since last October when I've walked on to the pitch without a physical or mental question mark over me, and that's professional sports. So now I have to listen to my body, give it what it needs and if everything happens for a reason, then we'll see what road this turn sends me down.

"I have given and will continue to give everything that my body, mind and heart possibly has to the Arsenal and Lionesses, I will still be there through thick and thin for all of my team-mates and their biggest supporter.

"All I ask is for a little bit of time and space to deal with all that is to come."

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