Alessia Russo and Ebony Salmon relishing battle to replace Ellen White in England attack

·2-min read
Alessia Russo and Ebony Salmon relishing battle to replace Ellen White in England attack

Alessia Russo is hoping to ditch her ‘super-sub’ tag and become a starter for England in the wake of record goalscorer Ellen White retiring.

Russo made her name for the Lionesses during their march to Euro 2022 glory this summer by coming off the bench to score vital goals.

Despite not starting a single game, the striker finished the tournament with four strikes to her name - a tally that was only bettered by Alexandra Popp and Golden Boot winner Beth Mead.

Russo, however, will now be hoping for more starts after White, England’s record female goalscorer, hung up her boots earlier this month.

Alessia Russo wants to shed her ‘super-sub’ tag and become a regular starter for England (The FA via Getty Images)
Alessia Russo wants to shed her ‘super-sub’ tag and become a regular starter for England (The FA via Getty Images)

“I feel like I haven’t maybe made my name as a starting striker yet so I’ve still got a lot of work to do,” said Russo.

“I think the talent that we have in this country is massive, the competition is high and I’m ready to learn and compete and that’s what I want to do when I come in this environment.

“I want to get better, I want to learn and I want to put my best foot forward. There’s always pressure on footballers all the time so it’s just part of the job you’re in.

“It’s a competitive game and the front line is very competitive. I’ve just got to keep working hard.”

Russo faces competition for a starting spot from Chelsea’s Beth England and squad newcomer Ebony Salmon.

Ebony Salmon is also competing to replace Ellen White after starring for Houston Dash (The FA via Getty Images)
Ebony Salmon is also competing to replace Ellen White after starring for Houston Dash (The FA via Getty Images)

Salmon has just one cap to her name, but has been called up by Sarina Wiegman for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Luxembourg after impressing in the United States with Houston Dash.

“Ellen’s left a gap that was full for a few years, so I think that it’s obvious to everyone that the position is up for grabs,” said the 21-year-old.

“Alessia was at the Euros and she did really well, so she’s obviously fighting for that spot. But I think for her and for myself and for Beth, for anyone competing for that [spot], it’s really good to have competition and not just be the person who Ellen has left and you’re straight in. I think the competition will be healthy and really good for all of us.”