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Can Miedema, Mead and Williamson's return from ACL Injuries Earn Arsenal Silverware This Season?

Arsenal currently sit second in the Women's Super League table, just 3 points behind reigning champions Chelsea after 12 games. Will the return of some of Jonas Eidevall's strongest Gunners lead them to lift another trophy, whether that be through a cup run or the WSL title?


With Leah Williamson making her return for Arsenal, she once again adds herself to Jonas Eidevall's already strong centre-back options. Fellow ACL-sufferers Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema also suffered a lengthy period on the sidelines, but have already made an impact following their return to the pitch.



Beth Mead was the first of Arsenal's players who tore their ACL in the span of a year to return to the pitch.


Mead suffered her ACL injury against Manchester United in November 2022. After 330 days out, she made her return against Aston Villa in October 2023, receiving a standing ovation from the fans as she stepped onto the pitch once again.


In her first game back from injury, Mead came off the bench in the 88 minute, with Arsenal trailing 1-0 to Aston Villa. She proved to be pivotal to the Gunner's side, making an instant impact, setting up Alessia Russo's winner after Katie McCabe equalised, helping the Gunners earn all 3 points in the dying moments of the game.


Since her comeback, Mead has six goals and three assists in all competitions for club and country, showing she is capable of returning to her usual form by the end of the season.


Jonas Eidevall already has a long list of strong attacking options at Arsenal, but Mead's instant impact upon her comeback has ensured she returned to her place in the starting XI.


With the second most goal contributions in WSL history, Beth Mead's return will give Arsenal hopes to beat Chelsea to the WSL title this season.



Vivianne Miedema was the second Gunner to rupture her ACL in the last year. She suffered the injury during Arsenal's Champions League game against Lyon in December 2022. Miedema returned to action after 310 days out, coming off the bench in Arsenal's 2-1 win over Bristol City.


She scored her first goal since December 2022 in Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Liverpool last week, marking the end to the 413 day tally since her last goal. Miedema said "I feel like the old me again, maybe even better than the old me."


Vivianne Miedema has scored 79 goals for the Gunners, holding the all-time WSL goal-scoring record. She made a significant impact at the club before her injury, and will wish to continue her goal-scoring ways now that she is fully recovered.


The return of one of the world's best female strikers will aid Arsenal's title hunt, as they hope to chase London rivals Cheslea.



Leah Williamson is the most recent Gunner to return to WSL action following an ACL injury.


As vice-captain of Arsenal, Williamson is a key player for Eidevall's side, and was greatly missed during her extended period on the sidelines.


The England captain returned to the Gunner's squad after 280 days, coming on in Arsenal's 6-0 thrashing over Championship side Reading in the Conti Cup. She even earned herself an assist, having been on the pitch for less than half an hour.


It is likely that Leah Williamson will make her return to WSL action when Arsenal face West Ham this weekend. However, Jonas Eidevall has plenty of top-quality centre-backs to choose from, meaning Williamson will have to fight Lotte Wubben-Moy and Amanda Ilestedt for a spot in the starting XI, with Jen Beattie and Laia Codina also trying to prove themselves.


Arsenal fans will hope for Williamson to be fit to start against tough opponents Manchester City in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup on February 11th, as they know what she can bring to the pitch.



This is not the end of the road for the Gunner's ACL troubles, with Laura Wienroither, Teyah Goldie and Kaylan Marckese all still recovering from ruptured ACLs.


The return of Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema and Leah Williamson will boost Arsenal's hopes of beating Chelsea to the WSL title. However, the return of these players also emphasises the long recovery they had to endure.


Arsenal's rivals Chelsea and Manchester City have also recently suffered losses of key players due to ACL injuries, with both Sam Kerr and Jill Roord out for the season.


ACL ruptures remain prevalent in women's football, with more research needing to be done to further understand the causes, to help minimise the number of ACL injuries in the future.


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