Ahead of the 2023 World Cup, England have a major crisis on their hands. Their captain, Leah Williamson, has been ruled out of the tournament with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear – meaning someone will need to replace her in the role.
With no official vice-captain in place, the decision to replace Williamson has still yet to be completed. Nevertheless, we’ve put together a list of candidates who could fill her shoes.
We’ll be looking at players who have experience in captaincy – additionally, we will also be favouring defenders and midfielders, as players in these positions tend to be the most effective leaders.
Contenders to captain England women
Manchester City’s Alex Greenwood stands out as the main contender to replace Williamson as captain of the Lionesses. A commanding central defender, she appears to be a perfect fit to don the armband.
Lucy Bronze would also be a solid pick to take the captaincy. While she isn’t known for her leadership qualities, her pure talent and accolades within the women’s game command respect from her peers. A captain must be, above all else, respected – and Bronze certainly is.
Hard-working midfielder Laura Coombs could also assume the position of captain. She sets an excellent example for her teammates – aged 32, she also has the required experience to take on the role.
Our pick to captain England women
While Coombs, Bronze and Greenwood all present solid options to take Williamson’s armband into the 2023 World Cup, we think the best choice Sarina Wiegman could make would be to give the captaincy to none other than Steph Houghton.
Houghton is no stranger to captaining the Lionesses – she donned the armband from 2014 to 2017. On top of this, her vast experience will be invaluable to England’s relatively young squad.
While she hasn’t had the best of seasons for Manchester City, this matters little when her excellent leadership qualities are taken into account.