Beth Mead set for Arsenal return after 11-month ACL injury layoff

England and Arsenal forward Beth Mead is in line to make her first appearance in a year since rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) when her club face Aston Villa in the Women’s Super League, manager Jonas Eidevall said on Friday.

Mead, who holds the record for most assists in the WSL, tore her ACL in November and missed out on the women’s World Cup as a result.

The 28-year-old won the Golden Boot when England won the European Championship on home soil last year while she also finished second to Spain’s Alexia Putellas in the women’s 2022 Ballon d’Or voting.

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“For squad selection, we have one more training (session) to go. If she goes through that, she should be 100% ready for selection in the squad,” Eidevall told reporters ahead of Sunday’s game, which will be played at Emirates Stadium.

“She has a lovely energy, she plays the game with it. She has both a right and left foot, really good attacking qualities.

“We all know she is a quality football player and we’re really looking forward to having her back on the pitch.”

Mead’s team mate Vivianne Miedema also suffered an ACL injury which led to her missing the World Cup for the Netherlands but Eidevall said the Dutch forward is not yet ready to return.

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“Unfortunately, we have a group who have all gone through the same thing,” Eidevall added.

“Even if it looks on paper like you have the same injury, it’s never exactly the same. There are always differences, and as with anything going on in your life, there are similarities.

“You can help, but at the end of the day everything is going to be unique to you as an individual.”

Arsenal is ninth in the league without a win in two games, which included a shock opening day defeat by Liverpool at the Emirates, while Villa is 11th.


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