You’ve probably walked past Pepsi Max advertising boards with her face on countless times in the build up to Euro 2022.

But there’s so much more to Leah Williamson than being one of the cover girls for the Lionesses this summer.

Williamson captained England in their Arnold Clark Cup winning game against Germany this year and will now be doing the same at the Euros

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Williamson captained England in their Arnold Clark Cup winning game against Germany this year and will now be doing the same at the Euros

So who is Williamson and what should we expect from her at the European Championship – which is LIVE on talkSPORT – this summer?

Born and raised in Milton Keynes, the Arsenal centre-back has had an impressive career despite being only 25.

Just 15 years ago, Williamson, who joined Arsenal in 2006, was a mascot for Arsenal during their 2007 Champions League campaign.

Fast forward to now and she’s going to captain England at this summer’s Women’s Euros, with her defensive partner Millie Bright taking the position of vice-captain.

After originally developing as a central midfielder, Williamson now plays at the back for both Arsenal and England.

Given her experience in the middle of the park, she’s happy to press up the field and her wealth of experience allows her to intercept the opposition’s passes and also be confident on the ball.

Williamson joined Arsenal’s academy at the age of nine

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Williamson joined Arsenal’s academy at the age of nine

After making her debut for the Gunners at the age of just 17 in the Champions League, she later went on to score her first Women’s Super League goal in the same year, netting against London rivals, Chelsea.

In addition to this, she has won the WSL, helping the Gunners seal the title in 2019.

After captaining England youth sides, Williamson made her debut for England in 2018 in a 3-1 victory over Russia.

She’s also gone on to represent Great Britain at the Olympics – a life-long dream of hers having been inspired by 2012 gold medallist Greg Rutherford – helping them reach the quarter finals in Tokyo last summer.

And has always led by example

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And has always led by example

Williamson’s appointment as captain went down well within the England camp

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Williamson’s appointment as captain went down well within the England camp

The England star has gone on to make 27 appearances for England in total, scoring two goals and has always been consistent in her performances, leading England manager Sarina Wiegman to see her as the perfect candidate for the captaincy.

Former long-standing skipper Steph Houghton has been suffering with an Achilles injury that has restricted her to just five WSL games this season, leaving the captain’s armband up for grabs.

Lucy Bronze has also missed out this season due to injury, meaning Williamson, Millie Bright and Ellen White have each been given a go with leading the Lionesses.

However, it was Williamson who won Wiegman over and is well aware of the prestige that comes with it and the task of replacing such a presence in Houghton.

Wiegman has praised the defender for being a calm figure in the team

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Wiegman has praised the defender for being a calm figure in the team

“This is an incredibly proud moment for me and my family and I’m honoured to be asked to lead us at the Euros.

“Steph is one of this country’s all-time greats and to follow in her footsteps – and all of those special names who have led the team in the past – means so much.”

Williamson has some big boots to fill when it comes to being England’s captain at a major tournament – particularly one that’s going to be played on home soil.

However, given she’s risen up the ranks of women’s football so rapidly, the captaincy is certainly the next logical step for her career.

And what a prize it would be to lead her country to victory this summer.

talkSPORT will broadcast every England match of the UEFA Women’s Euros tournament this summer, along with the crunch games in the final stages. 

The network will also broadcast all of Northern Ireland’s games in England’s group including Norway versus Northern Ireland and Austria versus Northern Ireland, plus updates and analysis from the tournament across its schedule. Full details of our coverage HERE.

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