Eidevall advises Wiegman to pair Ella Toone and Alessia Russo in England Womens attack at the World Cup

Jonas Eidevall, as per the Guardian, believes Alessia Russo will be England Women’s go-to striker as they attempt to leave Australia and New Zealand as world champions.

In Beth Mead’s absence, there has been some debate about who should be the Lionesses’ top striker in this year’s World Cup. Alessia Russo of Arsenal, Beth England of Tottenham Hotspur, and Rachel Daly of Aston Villa are all in contention to lead the Lionesses’ attack.

For the Gooners, what they want is that Sarina Weigman will hand their new striker, Russo, the keys to lead her attack. The 24-year-old was magnificent for the Lionesses on their way to becoming European Champions last summer, despite having to settle for a backup role. Russo scored four goals in six games.

Although her stats from last season (ten goals in twenty WSL games) are not as eye-catching as Daly’s (22 goals in 22 WSL games) or England’s (12 goals in 12 WSL games), Eidevall believes Sarina Weigman must trust Russo to lead the attack.

The Arsenal manager believes that Manchester United’s Ella Toone may fill the playmaker role for the Lionesses in the absence of Frank Kirby. If Toone is used as the playmaker, it will be wise to make use of the connection she has with Russo in order to have an effective attack. Aside from that bond, which he feels is vital to exploit because of the “club connection,” he went on to discuss the ex-Man United striker’s characteristics that may make any coach trust her for his attack.

Eidevall said: “Ella Toone is going to be the preference as the No 10 in the absence of Fran Kirby. She played a massive role coming off the bench during the Euros, but we have seen she is ready to be a starting player for England. The relationship she had at Manchester United with Alessia Russo last season is also important. One thing that is sometimes overlooked in international football is that leaning on the relationships at club level can be beneficial. Do you want to play Toone with Bethany England (Tottenham) or Rachel Daly (Aston Villa) and Russo with Jordan Nobbs (Villa)?

“Russo has a lot of great qualities, which is why I have brought her to Arsenal, and she is definitely capable of leading the line for England. She’s incredibly hard-working in and out of possession and offers a really good point of attack. She is able to hold the ball up, protect the ball, but also dribble out of difficult situations, and is a very creative finisher.

“She can finish in many different ways, from outside the box, with a header, or even with a backheel. She is drawn to those finishing opportunities, which is an important thing to have as a striker. Then there is the passion she plays the game with; she invests every inch of herself into every game.”

If Weigman takes Eidevall’s counsel, she may be able to follow up her Euros trophy last year with a World Cup victory.

Michelle Maxwell

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