England have named uncapped duo Maya Le Tissier and Katie Robinson in their squad for this month’s friendlies against Norway and Japan, while in-form Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs is back in the fold.
Euro 2022 star Alessia Russo also returns after missing October’s international break through injury and Chelsea’s Niamh Charles is recalled as part of a 25-strong squad for the games in Murcia, Spain.
However, England captain Leah Williamson remains out injured for what will be the final games of an historic year in which the Lionesses were crowned European champions.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton is again left out having not been involved with England since the Euros, amid reports she has been dropped by both club and country because of problems with her attitude.
Le Tissier, who joined United from Brighton this summer, has impressed in a side that sits top of the Women’s Super League on goal-difference after a perfect five wins from five at the start of the season, while the inclusion of 20-year-old Seagulls forward Robinson brings some much needed good news to the club, after former England boss Hope Powell resigned following the weekend’s 8-0 defeat to Tottenham.
Nobbs missed the Euros with a knee injury, was recalled for September’s World Cup qualifiers but then omitted again for last month’s showpiece victory over the USA at Wembley. However, the 29-year-old has scored twice in as many games for Arsenal over the past week and earned a recall.
“These will again be two good challenging games for us which is just what we want and need at this stage,” said head coach Sarina Wiegman. “We will come up against one team in Norway that we know plenty about and who are building again under Hege [Riise]. However, before then we have a tough match against a Japan, who are bringing a different style of play which is a good preparation for the World Cup.
“We are hoping the conditions in Spain will help us to maximise our training as every session counts, along with the matches of course, in helping us to be ready for the World Cup. We cannot waste a minute and I am looking forward to getting back on the grass. We have some new players to look at as we know we have so much competition for places coming through.”
England squad to face Norway and Japan:
Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Sandy MacIver, Ellie Roebuck
Defenders: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Niamh Charles, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood, Maya Le Tissier, Esme Morgan, Lotte Wubben-Moy
Midfielders: Fran Kirby, Jordan Nobbs, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh, Katie Zelem
Forwards: Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Chloe Kelly, Beth Mead, Nikita Parris, Alessia Russo, Katie Robinson, Ebony Salmon