What does England captain Leah Williamson's ACL injury mean for the Lionesses' Women's World Cup dream?
When England captain and Arsenal star Leah Williamson went down with a knee injury on Wednesday night, one could be forgiven for fearing the worst.
Women’s football has been suffering an ACL crisis for a long, long time now and, on Friday afternoon, Williamson’s name was added to its ever-growing list of casualties.
The 26-year-old will miss the rest of Arsenal’s season, which includes a Women’s Champions League semi-final tie against Wolfsburg, and then, crucially, this summer’s 2023 Women’s World Cup.
After leading the Lionesses to Euro 2022 glory last year, she’ll be forced to watch on from afar for this major tournament.
It’s cruel, cruel news for a player who had been enjoying an incredible moment in her career, with so much to look forward to. It’s devastating for her club, too, with the Gunners already bogged down by a long injury list.
And what about England? To lose your captain and one of your star players as you prepare for a World Cup that you genuinely have the ability to win is a massive blow.
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What impact could it have on the Lionesses' chances of becoming world champions?