Arsenal legend Jordan Nobbs Villa move pays off after Women’s World Cup 2023 selection

Arsenal legend Jordan Nobbs Villa move pays off after Women’s World Cup 2023 selection by Michelle

Beth Mead’s omission from England’s Women’s World Cup team was disheartening, yet it wasn’t unexpected. Instead, the spotlight fell on two players who made daring decisions in January and were duly rewarded.

Arsenal Women’s Mead had been named the player of the tournament and received the Golden Boot at Euro 2022. Unfortunately, her hopes were shattered when she suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in November 2022 – the first of four ACL injuries that the Arsenal Women would go on to suffer through the season, which included Lionesses captain Leah Williamson who suffered an ACL injury in March 2023 and will also not make the tournament. Considering the potential risks involved, manager Sarina Wiegman deemed it too great a gamble to include Mead in the squad.

Sarina Wiegman’s squad announcement included former Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs, whose bold move to depart Arsenal after a long tenure of 12 years, and join Aston Villa in January, proved to be a rewarding decision. Former Chelsea striker Bethany England also made headlines with her move to relegation-threatened Tottenham in January, for a British-record transfer fee.

Both players made the courageous decision to leave their respective top WSL clubs, in order to secure regular playing time and improve their chances of being selected for the 23-player squad. Their efforts have paid off, as they will now join the team on their journey to Australia for the tournament, commencing on 20th July 2023.

Despite numerous injury setbacks throughout her international caraeer, 30-year-old Nobbs has managed to accumulate an impressive 71 caps for England since 2013. Unfortunately, injuries prevented her from participating in major tournaments such as the 2019 World Cup, Euro 2022, and the 2021 Olympic Games as part of the Great Britain team.

“It’s a fairytale for Jordan,” Ellen White told the BBC. “She’s had some horrendous heartbreak with knee injuries, missing out on three major tournaments.

“But she made the biggest decision probably of her life to leave Arsenal to go to Aston Villa to get game time and force her way into the England squad. She brings a lot of experience.”

“Several players have benefitted from taking that brave step,” said former Lionesses goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.

“It’s the importance of communication from Wiegman, essentially saying, ‘look, you’ve not been on our radar because you’ve not had enough minutes, go and prove to us what you can do’.

“The likes of England and Nobbs have seized those moments and have had huge impacts in teams that maybe would have struggled without them.”

Lotte Wubben-Moy was the only Arsenal Women player selected for Wiegman’s squad. Numerous other Arsenal players will represent their respective countries in the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer.


Michelle Maxwell

Follow Michelle on Just Gooner Women on Twitter for regular updates on the Arsenal Womens Team!

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