Man City midfielder on reproducing club form for country after surprise international call-up for England

Laura Coombs has been in red-hot form for Manchester City and has earned an England recall eight years after she last played for the Lionesses.

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Laura Coombs has been backed to translate her red-hot Manchester City form onto the international stage after securing a shock return to the England fold.

Coombs, 32, made her last international appearance back in 2015 and would have been forgiven for assuming that her Lionesses career was over.

But the Manchester City midfielder was recently unveiled as a surprise selection in Sarina Wiegman’s squad for the Arnold Clark Cup.

And she is being tipped to make a big impact as the European champions face Korea Republic, Belgium and Italy.

What has been said about Laura Coombs being selected for the Lionesses?

Lionesses legend Fara Williams, who racked up a record 172 caps between 2001 and 2019, believes Coombs’ consistency held the key to her return and says her crucial experience can help England defend their Arnold Clark Cup trophy.

The 39-year-old, speaking ahead of the Lionesses’ opening game against Korea Republic on Thursday (16 February), said: “Given the fact that England need more midfielders and Laura Coombs has been one of the most consistent performers off the back end of last season and coming into now, her selection was absolutely not a surprise for me.

“I think she’s somebody that was worthy of the call-up.

Laura Coombs last appeared for England in 2015. Photo: Getty ImagesLaura Coombs last appeared for England in 2015. Photo: Getty Images
Laura Coombs last appeared for England in 2015. Photo: Getty Images

“I think what people could be surprised about it that England have just won the Euros and will be looking to build for the future.

“Laura is now the oldest player in the squad so you would think they would look at a younger player instead.

“I think she’s been key for Manchester City. Recently she’s been coming into the game and providing some strong assists, mostly for Khadija (Bunny) Shaw.

“She has a major impact when she’s playing in the game and so is warranted that opportunity to play for the national team.

“I’m really glad for her that Sarina has picked her and anyone watching Manchester City regularly will know how consistent she has been.”

Who do England play at the Arnold Clark Cup?

Wiegman’s side take on an unknown Korea Republic in their first game on Thursday before facing Belgium and Italy later in the week. And with over 70,000 tickets sold, Williams has faith that Coombs’ experience can provide a new midfield threat for the Lionesses.

“I think she can bring a lot of goals in from midfield for this team,” she added.

“She’s a player that plays in a more advanced position and after losing that older experienced player in Jill Scott and Ellen White, Laura can bring that.

“It will take her time to settle into the team and the way they play but she’s played in some top teams and she has a lot of energy and can score goals, whether that’s from the back or charging into the box.”

Laura Coombs playing for Manchester City. Photo: Liverpool FC via Getty ImagesLaura Coombs playing for Manchester City. Photo: Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Laura Coombs playing for Manchester City. Photo: Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Coombs helped Manchester City to third in the Women’s Super League table following their impressive 2-1 victory over Arsenal last weekend.

Gareth Taylor’s side are now poised just three points behind leaders Manchester United, with Chelsea in the middle, and Williams indicated that a strong attacking presence is pivotal for City to challenge for the top.

“I think that if Manchester City can keep their front three performing the way that they are, with the likes of Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly and Bunny Shaw, they can challenge United and Chelsea,” she said.

“It’s taken time for them to replace Kiera Walsh and I think that Yui Hasegawa has done a great job in finding that place and making City tick.

“I think that since Gareth has put her in that position, City have really come on leaps and bounds.”

The Lionesses are playing in the Arnold Clark Cup which runs 16-22 February 2023. The last remaining tickets are available at the Arnold Clark Cup website.

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