Leah Williamson: 23 facts about Arsenal Women’s star
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal Women’s Leah Williamson turned 23 on Sunday and a day later marked six years since her first-team debut.
Josh Bunting considers 23 facts about the home-grown Gunners star.
1 Williamson made her Arsenal debut in a UEFA Women’s Champions League defeat to Birmingham City aged 17 coming on for Rachel Yankey.
2 She wears number six shirt for Arsenal, having previously worn number 14, and still does for England.
3 Born in Milton Keynes, Williamson joined Arsenal’s Centre of excellence aged nine.
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4 She has captained England at youth level.
5 Made her senior England debut away to Russia in June 2018.
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6 Made her first England start against Kazakhstan in a 6-0 win on September 4, 2018.
7 Scored her first England goal against Czech Republic in June 2019 to give Phil Neville’s side a 3-2 win.
8 Won England’s Youth player of the year award in 2015.
9 Started as a central midfielder but since Joe Montemurro became manager at Arsenal has moved into centre-back.
10 In 2018/19 she finished the season as Arsenal’s most active player on the ball with 1,501 touches, as well as completing the most successful passes in the opposition’s half (591).
11 At the end of the 2014/15 season, she was named the League Cup Player of the Year, ahead of Jess Clarke from Notts County, Ji So-yun from Chelsea and Toni Duggan from Manchester City.
12 She was also named the 2014–15 PFA Young Women’s Player of the Year.
13 Made her 100th appearance for the Gunners last season in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
14 Made her 100th start game for the Gunners earlier this season in the Champions League against ACF Fiorentina.
15 Scored her first Women’s Super League goal for Arsenal against Chelsea aged 17 on September 4, 2014.
16 Scored her last league goal in the 11-1 win against Bristol City in December but also scored in the Continental Cup final against Chelsea in February.
17 Replaced Jade Bailey in the 2016 FA Cup Final as Danielle Carter’s strike saw Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0.
18 Registered three assists in January, one against Birmingham and two against Brighton.
19 Was part of England’s SheBelieves Cup-winning team last year, playing against Japan in the USA.
20 Arsenal legend Ian Wright announced that Williamson was part of England’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad.
21 Scored a penalty in a qualifying match against Norway for the 2015 European under-19 Championships, but it was ordered to be retaken five days after the original contest. In an unprecedented decision, UEFA ordered the match to be restarted from the 96th minute. Williamson’s original penalty was disallowed for player encroachment at the home of Crusaders FC in Belfast.
22 Has played 1,286 minutes this season and is the most used player in the Women’s Super League.
23 Helped Arsenal win their first WSL title in seven years in 2018/19.