Leah Williamson spoke about her transformation into a defender in a recent interview with Arsenal.
And given the versatility she possesses, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to those who have watched her closely in recent seasons.
The England youth international, 20, has revealed during an interview that her switch from central midfield into the backline wasn’t unexpected but instead, had always been in the offing.
As quoted by the club’s official website, she said, “I think some would say it’s been a long time coming. I never want to shut the door to playing further forward, especially as a midfielder. I’ve got so much energy to use it’s almost a waste when I go back.
“But it’s something that I really want to try to hone now and I’m really on board with the manager’s decision to start playing me there. I’m really focusing on it myself. It’s a different side of the game. It’s more up here and less in the arms and legs.”
Her composure on the ball and awareness in possession are key attributes which help the transition become a more smoother one, though she has also said she’s eager to develop over time and utilise the experience to good effect.
“It’ll help me develop as a player I think and maybe moving forward that will be my position because I think I could be real good at it at some point.
“Number six has always been my preferred number since I joined the centre [of excellence]. I joined the centre when I was eight and that my shirt from that age until I came to the seniors and the first team.
“It’s always had a personal sentiment to me, but definitely, for a start it’s a starting XI number and that’s where I want to cement my place now.
“That’s the most important part, getting on the pitch, but yes it’s definitely a more defensive number, so maybe that’s where we’re going with it now.”
Leah will be hoping her consistent performances at club level earn her a call-up to the senior England squad in the near future.
She should be safe in the knowledge that her versatility is a strength that both Mark Sampson and Pedro Martinez Losa could use in a range of different scenarios.