Beth Mead is back in the England squad for the first time since November 2022 as she continues her comeback from a knee injury.
The England forward ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament playing in Arsenal’s 3-2 loss to Manchester United 367 days ago and the injury ruled her out of the World Cup.
The 28-year-old has been named in Sarina Wiegman’s 23-player squad for England’s crucial final Nations League group fixtures against the Netherlands and Scotland, but the goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck misses out. The Lionesses must win both games and hope Belgium drop points to ensure they top the group and progress to the finals of the tournament. They must finish as one of the top two nations in the competition to guarantee a place for Team GB at the Paris Olympics next year.
Mead returned for Arsenal on 15 October, coming on the 88th minute to inspire the team to come from behind against Aston Villa and earn a 2-1 win, providing the assist for Alessia Russo’s winner in injury time.
The Manchester City goalkeeper Khiara Keating and the midfielder Grace Clinton, on loan at Tottenham from Manchester United, have retained their England squad places.
Wiegman said: “We know we’ll need to win our last two games of 2023 and we’ll give everything we have for that outcome. This group have shown resilience and strength of character time and time again and I have absolutely no doubts we’ll be ready.”