Manchester City defender Steph Houghton has not made England’s squad of 23 for this year’s Euro Championships due to injury. The defender, who returned from injury in January, spent the remainder of the season on the sidelines as the blues claimed third place in the WSL.
Houghton was named in the provisional England squad, however, manager Sarina Wiegman confirmed the City star would not be making the squad.
“It was a hard decision. She’s just not ready to compete. It was just a matter of time and we don’t have that time,” said Wiegman. “We set a plan in place for her and she did everything that she could do. We supported her as good as possible. It is really hard for every player we had to disappoint.
“She is such a big player and has had such an impact on the English game. Of course she was really, really disappointed.”
Her omission from the squad will be a major blow to the Lionesses, as they go into the tournament without the star who has made 121 appearances for the national side and would have participated in her sixth international tournament.
But while it’s disappointment for Steph, her omission from the squad could turn out to be a blessing for the blues. Qualifying for the Champions League takes place shortly after the Euro’s finish, and City will be hoping to make it to the group stage this season after being eliminated at the qualifying stage last season, and they could have a fully fit Houghton to help them this time around.
It was no coincidence that City’s turn in fortune coincided with Houghton’s return from injury and the blues will benefit from having the captain lead the team in Europe, and maybe she can make an appearance at next year’s World Cup.